Archaeologists discover 8,000-year-old piece of string

December 8th, 2008 - 5:06 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Dec 8 (ANI): Marine archaeologists have discovered a piece of string made out of honeysuckle, nettles or wild clematis dating back to the Stone Age.

The team led by Gary Momber of the Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology found the four-and-a-half inch long string in a pre-historic camp 30 feet below the surface, 200 yards off the coast of the Isle of Wight.

The tough stems of honeysuckle, nettles or wild clematis were twisted together.

The researchers had cut out small blocks of the sea floor for analysis after seeing the wooded remains of the settlement by chance.

The string was buried in one of them.

The discovery is remarkable because the fibres, made of organic matter, would usually decay quite quickly.

British Archaeology magazine editor Mike Pitts called it a fantastic discovery.

“I don”t think the average person realises what an important piece of technology string has been over the ages,” the Telegraph quoted him as saying.

It is believed that the Stone Age settlement was flooded at the end of the last ice age, when glacial sheets that covered most of Europe, including Britain from the Midlands northwards, melted.

“The string was found with wooden planks and stakes and some pits containing burnt flint, said Jan Gillespie, of Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology.

We believe they may have been heated up to help work timber into boats,” he added. (ANI)

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