Friday, December 29, 2006

9,000-year-old artifact stirs archaeological excitement
The black flint stone shaped like a spearhead immediately caught Joan Rennick's eye during a routine beach stroll one summer afternoon seven years ago. A talisman collector, Rennick had been limited to a moose tooth and a hollow rock during her previous wanderings across New Brunswick.

But this discovery was different.

"Gee! It's my lucky day," she recalled thinking. She started wearing the rock around her neck every day, for good luck, without knowing her talisman was a 9,000-year-old artifact that could help scientists understand the cultural sequence of North American civilization.

Now, after the prehistoric tool was authenticated, a local archaeologist is planning to dig the beach around the fittingly named Cape Spear region on the province's east coast.

Archaeologist Brent Suttie believes Ms. Rennick's rock was crafted into a hunting weapon between 7,000 and 7,500 B.C.

Note to self: Do more beachcombing.