From D-Day to cave man doodles

Well, it has been another busy week in the world of archaeology. The big headline has of course been the 75th anniversary of D-Day, with various events worldwide marking the moment in 1944 that decisively changed the course of the Second World War. The anniversary was preceded by the announcement from Historic England that several D-Day preparation wrecks in Dorset, Devon and West Sussex have now been granted protected status. Back in 2004, on the 60th anniversary, we did our very own D-Day dig for a Time Team Special, following the movements of the Dorset Regiment on Gold Beach.

Elsewhere, other developments include the discovery in south-west France of a prehistoric etching of horses and other animals carved into an ancient rock fragment believed to be up to 12,000 years old! Scientists have also confirmed that a Viking warrior, found near Birka in Sweden and originally excavated in 1878, was female, further widening our understanding of this fascinating race of people.

In Scotland, archaeologists digging at the site of the Battle of Glenshiel have unearthed several 300-year old artefacts, including a flattened musket ball and mortar shell fragments. See the full story, as reported by the BBC here.

Finally, an amazing find has come to light on the north coast of Cornwall in Crantock, near Newquay. Two Bronze Age pits have been discovered on a building site near the Gannel Estuary. A dig led by South West Archaeology has unearthed three beaker vessels dating from 2400 to 2000BC, making them up to 4500 years old! One is particularly well-preserved and said to be one of the finest examples discovered in Cornwall. The finds are further evidence of the 'Bell Beaker' people, who settled in the area probably owing to its abundance of metals and minerals.

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