F is home this weekend (before he heads off to uni) and this afternoon we went hedgerow harvesting up on The Chalk. He's always had an eye for things that other people miss, we've called him F the Finder for as long as I can remember. When he was a little lad it was bones, then as a teenager he got a metal detector and spent hours scouring the fields in all weathers for all sorts of things. He was eventually rewarded for this dedication with an Edward III gold nobel, which had lain in the earth undisturbed for seven hundred years. It was perfect and utterly beautiful.The agreement he had with the farmer who owned the land was that any finds would remain the property of the farmer. When F showed him the nobel, the farmer asked him what he would do with it if he had a choice. F said I'd keep it and the farmer gave it to him.
It was perhaps unsurprising that this childhood hobby eventually developed into an all-consuming passion for archeology. It's been all he's wanted to do for the last four years and next weekend sees the start of his formal training.
You can't walk in the country without F going off, head down, over the fields, looking for pottery and bits of bone and flint. This morning, after he'd helped me pick two boxes of haws, he wandered off to roam the flint-chipped fields and came back with the above, which he tipped into my hands and explained as the off-cuts of prehistoric flint works.
The right side has a flat end, where the flint has been deliberately struck off, then there's a lump (bulb) followed by the concave shape. All these show it's a worked piece of flint and not something that's been chipped by the plough. He reckoned they were neolithic or possibly bronze age, because of the style.
They aren't the first ancient objects found in these fields. The farmer, who is a friend of ours, found an axe head that has been dated to before the last ice age and has a whole shoe box full of bits of flint and arrowheads and bones that have been butchered using flint tools.
Wandering back homeward, I was pleased to see that the ivy mining bees are back. They were busy buzzing about and clambering into and out of their holes in the sandy soil.....
As I was crouching down watching them, F called out that he'd found a bit of pottery. Closer examination revealed it was Iron Age. Roman pots have a different shape to the lip.
He's given the bits from today's field walking to me and I shall treasure them, along with the three flint arrowheads he found several years ago and also gave to me. That lad has a bright future ahead of him. I'm quite in awe of his knowledge.
Hope you're all having a good weekend? Parkrun went well this morning. I ran a steady 26 mins and coached a friend in to the finish, which was fun.