A family of rabbits have dug up some ancient treasures at one of the most iconic landmark sites in Britain; Land’s End. Archeologists now believe that the bunnies have burrowed their way into a potentially huge and important burial-place.
Neolithic artifacts, including arrow heads, hide scrapers and flint tools were among the excavation mounds left by the rabbits as they expanded their warren near the most southerly point of England. Not so long ago the eyes of the world were on Land’s End to watch the Olympic Torch rally set off. Now it is making news for a whole new reason.
The archaeological community is planning a dig as soon as possible, they think they may find a Neolithic graveyard as well as an Iron Age hill fort and Bronze Age burial mounds. The site, with its impressive outlook, could have been selected for centuries because of its position. However, no-one ever thought about it before, until the rabbits got to work. A two-year project to work on uncovering the site’s secrets is now being planned.
Dean Paton will lead the survey for Big Heritage. He said that the family of rabbits had “just re-written the history books” and that they remained inquisitive, popping out to see what they were doing as they went around and marked up the pitches. Paton remarked that the scale of the mission was still unknown, but there was little doubt it was a goldmine.
There is also talk of creating an “archeobunnies” trasure trail for children at the spot. The fact that is has been discovered by bunnies is put down to a million to one chance and the furry creatures are to get due recognition of their part in revealing the Cornish cornucopia.
Many thousands of people travel to Land’s End to admire the view or to set off on the archetypal Land’s End to John O’Groats trans-Britain route, never realizing that were walking on top of 8,000 year old treasures.
It was a staff member working at Land’s End who first spotted the flint objects beside the newly dug rabbit holes. He thought they looked interesting so he handed them over to archaeologists for their opinion. They soon confirmed they were at least 5000 years old and the full investigation was then commissioned.
Alice Reynolds who is the marketing manager for Land’s End thinks that its stunning natural beauty has always made it important for humans. She is thrilled to be adding such rich and significant heritage to the existing attractions of the beauty spot. Dean Paton of Big heritage is already describing it as a “visible time-line” that stretches “deep into pre-history.”
Paton points out that Land’s End has always been known for having the “first and last inn” and the “first and last house.” Now it can add to that list the “first and last hillfort” and the “first and last cemetery.”
Iron-age field systems are also detectable a mere ten minute walk from the much-photographed famous signpost.
The rabbits are certainly not the first mammals to have created an intricate system in the ground at Land’s End but by choosing to burrow where they did, they have undoubtedly exposed an historical heritage that would otherwise have remained undiscovered. Possibly for many more thousands of years.
By Kate Henderson