Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Thousands of Flints Uncovered in England

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Surrey Flint Discovery2


GUILDFORD, ENGLAND—More than 2,400 flints have been discovered in a very fine sand deposit in a fire station yard during a construction project. Many of the flints had been shaped into tools and blades dating to the Mesolithic and Paleolithic periods. “This is quite exceptional. In Europe, there are a handful of sites, not very many. In England, this is one amongst two, maybe three if that,” said archaeologist William Mills. Forty years ago, firefighter Ron Shettle, who had once been an archaeology student, alerted the Surrey Archaeological Society to the presence of the flints on the site. The county council called Shettle to let him know that the excavation was finally taking place. “We are now waiting for Oxford Archaeology to come up with a report, which takes anything from six months to six year. They had better get a move on or I won’t be around to see it, but obviously I was thrilled,” commented the 88-year-old.