By Ian Bred, Norfolk Correspondent
Archeologists were today celebrating a spectacular new find that proves metal tools may have been used in Norfolk as far back as 1946.
A dig near Dereham has unearthed items including rare iron spanners, a wrench, what appears to be a hammer and even four nails that have been carbon-dated to a period just after the Second World War.
Experts say the exciting discovery proves Norfolk people were intelligent enough to make or repair things using metal tools decades before the previous best estimate of around 1970.
Professor Doug Anderson, of the University of East Anglia said: “A turnip farmer at Sutton, near Dereham, found what appeared to be an old nail and called in our team of archaeologists. We dug a huge hole and unearthed a treasure trove of tools, as well as a lot of turnips.
“No one would have believed this area of Britain was capable of such intelligence as early as 1946.”
Specialists are now restoring the priceless tools before presenting them for public display in Norwich Museum next month.
A museum spokesman said: “This new exhibit will create quite a stir locally. The tools were found on the land of a Mr Bubba Spuckler, who has farmed the area with his sister and their eight children for the past 30 years.”
Mr Spuckler was unavailable for comment but is believed to be planning to call the farm Sutton Hoooooo in a greedy bid to attract tourists.