Prehistoric flint tools possibly from Grime’s Graves in Norfolk turn up in Scotland

Pottery and flint tools, estimated to be more than 4,000 years old, which were discovered near the u

Pottery and flint tools, estimated to be more than 4,000 years old, which were discovered near the university after engineers prepared to lay four miles of pipework. Picture: UNIVERSITY OF ST ANDREWS/PA WIRE - Credit: PA

A hoard of neolithic pottery and flint tools which are believed could hail from Grime's Graves near Thetford have turned up in Scotland.

The find has led experts to suspect that people living more than 4,000 years ago had wide-ranging contacts and were trading over considerable distances.

Engineers made the discovery at Kincaple, three miles west of the University of St Andrews, when they were preparing to lay four miles of pipework to connect two parts of the campus.

About 30 pieces of 'grooved-ware' pottery and tools fashioned from flint were excavated in March last year.

Initial analysis of the tools suggest they could hail from either the famous flint mines at Grimes Graves in Lynford, or from somewhere else in Yorkshire.

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Alastair Rees, consultant archaeologist at Archas Ltd, oversaw the excavation, identification and recording of discoveries from the dig.

He said: 'These finds provide yet another piece in the jigsaw to help us reconstruct the mundane - as well as the more interesting - aspects of how societies interacted and travelled in ancient Britain.

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'The artefacts provide more evidence of long-distance trade, contacts and, especially, ideas across the country.'

The flint itself is thought to originate from Yorkshire.

Their unusually large size and finely-crafted design led experts to believe their purpose was intended for rituals and not domestic use.

The 'grooved-ware' pottery discovered alongside the tools has been found at digs across the UK, from Orkney to the south of England.

The pottery, which is distinctive and highly decorated, is also often associated with ritual deposition or offerings, experts said.

Further analysis, including radiocarbon dating, will now be carried out to give a clearer picture of the beliefs and behaviour of people from the era.

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