How did the discovery of a battered, old wooden shovel in a Cheshire primary school lead to a major archaeological research project at Alderley Edge?
The children's fiction writer Alan Garner recounts the story of how he rediscovered a shovel used for Bronze Age copper mining at his primary school in the 1950s. After having it dismissed as 'uninteresting and probably Tudor or Victorian' by experts at the British and Ashmolean Museums, he kept it safe for 40 years until John Prag (Keeper of Archaeology at The Manchester Museum) finally took him seriously.
In the 1990s Radiocarbon dating showed the shovel to be nearly 4,000 years old and it was the spur to a number of major archaeological and educational projects at Alderley Edge. With the help of John Prag and Stephen Mills, Alan goes on to use photographs, maps and stone hammer finds to discuss the significance of the shovel (first found by miners in 1875 on the Alderley Edge site) and how recent excavations have revealed insights into Bronze-Age mining techniques and tool making.
CLICK ON ONE OF THE RELATED NARRATIVES BELOW TO VIEW A CLIP FROM THIS CONVERSATION
If you have any comments, or would like to contribute your own information to this narrative, please use our feedback form.
Alderley Edge 01 - The ShovelRelated Objects:
Alderley Edge 02 - Shovel continued
Alderley Edge 06 - What it's like down the Alderley Edge Mines
Alderley Edge 07 - experiences down the mines
Alderley Edge 08
Alderley Edge 09
Alderley Edge 10
Alderley Edge 11
Alderley Edge 12
Alderley Edge 13
Alderley Edge 14
Alderley Edge 15
Alderley Edge 16
[1991.85] Shovel, Object, Registered, Europe, England, Cheshire, Alderley Edge
The copyright in these data and images is property
of The Manchester Museum, The University of Manchester. Data and images are
supplied for personal and research use only.
Terms and Conditions