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Archaeologists look to protect rare prehistoric site
Farndon flint tools. Left to right: Broken point for tipping a projectile like a spear, two scrapers (working end down), multi-purpose tool with scraper-end (down) and piercer (up). Scale in millimeters. All probably nearly 13,000 years old. Photo courtsey of Gwil Owen
The flint tools found at Farndon in Nottinghamshire are 13,000 years old

A group of amateur archaeologists are hoping to help protect a rare prehistoric site in Nottinghamshire.

They are bidding for funding to further investigate the fields around Farndon, where archaeologists have unearthed hundreds of Ice Age flint tools.

Professional archaeologist Daryl Garton is supporting Farndon Archaeological Research Investigations' bid.

"There isn't another site in Britain of the same age and with this spread of activity," she said.

"It's incredibly important."

FIELD WALKING
Field walking involves setting out a series of grids throughout the field, then doing a walk across the field, mapping any finds with GPS before taking them back to base and identifying them.

The prehistoric site was discovered during field walks carried out prior to the road widening of the A46 between Newark and Widmerpool.

Daryl was involved with the initial work for the Highways Agency.

She said: "There were about 330 surface finds but that was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

"There will be lots more in the ploughed soil, hopefully left intact."

It is believed that the site was that of a camp, or several camps, where hunters would process kills after hunting animals, perhaps of herds such as wild horses and red deer migrating across the River Trent.

Farndon Archaeological Research Investigations (FARI) are bidding for £50,000 of Heritage Lottery Funding to be used over three years.

With this they hope to do more field walks, dig several test pits and carry out scientific tests they would otherwise not be able to afford.

Anne Coyne, from FARI, said the funding would be good, not only for archaeologists but also for the area.

Farndon Fields finds
In Nottinghamshire there are only a handful of archaeological remains that date from the Palaeolithic time period
Fardon Field's location is unusual because prehistoric tools are usually found in protected environments such as caves not open fields
The flint tools found were used about 13,000 years ago for processing animal carcasses, scraping them out to make pelts for clothing
They have been found spread over a huge area equivalent to 21 football pitches
Archaeologists say the people who made the flint tools at Farndon might conceivably be the same people that made the cave paintings of bison and birds at Creswell Crags

"It's like ancient family history, studying how our ancestors lived in the past," she said.

"It would be great to put Newark on the map in terms of prehistory."

As important as work in the field, FARI plans to communicate the importance of the site to the public, through talks and displays.

"Eventually what we'd like to do is put on a permanent display of the finds at the local museum at Newark for people to view for future generations," Anne added.

FARI are expecting to finalise their application by the end of March and hope to hear from Heritage Lottery Fund a few months later. They hope to start work in the summer of 2011.

Farndon Archaeological Research Investigations are putting on a series of events at Newark Library in February 2011. On 15 February professional archaeologist Daryl Garton will give a talk about the finds so far unearthed near the village. Between 17-19 February there will be a display of the original artefacts and on 19 February families can enjoy an archaeological craft activity, building a replica, edible, stone henge. For more information call FARI on 01636 611 640. . These events are part of the BBC's Hands On History.




SEE ALSO
Things to do in Nottinghamshire
03 Mar 11 |  Things to do
Ice Age remains found at A46 dig
26 Aug 10 |  Nottingham


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