Dig shows Paris is 3,000 years older than first thought





Paris has long been known to be a very old city but its history as a settlement has just been extended by more than 3,000 years.

An archaeological dig, whose findings were revealed yesterday, moves back Paris's first known human occupation to about 7600BC, in the Mesolithic period between the two stone ages.

An area about the size of a football field on the south-western edge of the city, close to the banks of the river Seine, has yielded thousands of flint arrowheads and fragments of animal bone. The site, between the Paris ring road and the city's helicopter port, is believed by archaeologists to have been used, nearly 10,000 years ago, as a kind of sorting and finishing station for flint pebbles washed up on the banks of the river. Once the dig is complete, the site will be occupied by a plant for sorting and recycling the refuse generated by the two million Parisians of the 21st century.

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