Was Fred Flintstone the First Geordie?

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England), September 11, 2003 | Go to article overview
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Was Fred Flintstone the First Geordie?


Byline: By Sarah Knapton

Stone Age remains found in sea

Yabba Dabba Doo - boffins have discovered the region's very own Bedrock under the North Sea.

They have discovered a stone age settlement which could be the earliest site in the UK off the coast of Tynemouth, North Tyneside.

And just like in The Flintstones the site would have been an ideal `des res' for the modern stone age family.

David Miles, chief archaeologist, English Heritage, said: "This is a tremendously exciting discovery. We know that there is a prehistoric Atlantis beneath the North Sea where once an area equal to the size of present day Britain attached us to the continent and where prehistoric people and animals roamed.

"It is potentially an area for exploration and this discovery by the Newcastle University team gives us a stepping stone into this unknown world."

The exciting find was discovered by accident by an archaeological team from the University of Newcastle who claim the history books may now need rewriting.

The team, from the university's School of Historical Studies, discovered the sites while they were training.

Dr Penny Spikins, who is leading the international research team behind the Submerged Prehistoric Landscapes Project, said: "I was learning to scuba dive and was in the middle of a training session in the sea when I noticed lots of pieces of flint beneath me, on the sea bed.

"To the average person they would seem like ordinary stones you would find on the beach, but to a specialist they were something very exciting indeed."

What Dr Spikins had discovered were stone artefacts, including tools and arrowheads clustered around two distinct areas, which are being kept a closely guarded secret.

They belonged to the Mesolithic period or Middle Stone Age - 10,000 to 5,000 years ago - when hunter gatherers lived along the prehistoric shore line of the North East.

One site dates back to the late Mesolithic period - 8,500 to 5,000 years ago.

The second site, found further out to sea at the end of a long, rocky outcrop which would have once been a small cliff face, is thought to be early Mesolithic - 8,500 to 10,000 years ago.

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