Pensioner unearths 'Stone Age artefacts' in back garden

Most people have a few heirlooms knocking around their houses.

But for Eddie Lawrence, he will have to search back further than his granny for the original owner – because his could be from the dawn of civilisation.

Eddie Lawrence, 88, with his finds. Picture: Kate Shemilt

Eddie Lawrence, 88, with his finds. Picture: Kate Shemilt

The 88-year-old unearthed what he believed were a five-inch-long chisel and arrowheads more than 30 years ago – but they only came to light again after a clear out at his home in Seaview Road, East Preston.

Now, he is calling for experts to verify his find. He said: “We are talking about 12,000 years ago, when people were drawing on cave walls in different parts of the country.

“It is fascinating trying to picture what it was like at the time.”

The postal historian and his wife Audrey moved into their home in Angmering Lane, East Preston, in 1983, splitting their time between East Preston and Hong Kong, where Eddie had worked for the Hong Kong and China Gas Company.

The couple were back from leave when the Great Storm of 1987 struck, uprooting the lime trees in their back garden which were then chopped down by tree surgeons. Eddie and his gardener dug down a few feet to uproot the stumps, and discovered the artefacts.

He said: “I was puzzled. I thought they were of special significance but not of their age.”

As they were returning to Asia, Eddie stored them away, where they lay dormant until now. An online search revealed similar finds to his treasures which were from the Stone Age period, which lasted 3.4million years and ended between eight and 2,000 years ago with the dawn of metalworking.

Eddie said: “There must be a lot more down there, at least 4ft or more from the surface.”

Eddie’s story comes after Littlehampton-based metal detectorist Tyndall Jones discovered a sixth-century Saxon escutcheon, a metal ornament, in nearby farmland in 2015, stunning the British Museum.