Beach walkers are being asked to keep an eye out for prehistoric artefacts after a 6ft mammoth tusk was found in Essex. Changing sea levels and erosion are exposing new areas of coast with potentially historic treasures being revealed, say experts.
Members and volunteers of the Coastal and Intertidal Zone Archaeological Network, or CITiZAN, found the ancient relic during an unusually low-tide off the coast of Mersea Island on Thursday morning.
Climate Change, Changing Sea Levels Expose Ancient Tusk
Gustav Milne, from the Museum of London Archaeology, explained that changing sea levels and climate change have caused severe erosion on British coastlines exposing archaeological objects.
Milne, who is also CITiZAN project leader, urged beach-walkers to report any unusual pieces of object that may turn out to be archaeological treasures such as the mammoth tusk. Milne explained that these objects are likely in the process of destruction citing that coastline erosions are both an agent of discovery and an agent of destruction.
Discovered During A Field Walk
The tusk was discovered by four volunteers during a field walk, in which the participants walk along the stretch of the beach and record what they find. They found the relic more than half a mile from the coast off Coopers Beach in Essex. The discovery was made when the tides were at the lowest point of the year.
“A small and pointy feature poking out between the shingle and sands and was spotted by our eagle eyed volunteers,” wrote Oliver Hutchinson on the CITiZAN’s blog. “With a little cleaning of the area they were able to reveal the tusk of this beast from the east (of Mersea), a whopping 2m long!”