Scientists have discovered a prehistoric child's grave where the child is buried with a carved animal figurine which is believed to be the oldest toy ever found in Britain.
The toy hedgehog found buried with a 3 year old child is believed to be around 5,000 years old. Archaeologists believe that the 2.5 inch long artifact was probably a favorite possession of the child. Perhaps the child's father must have buried his child clutching the toy in its hand.
Archaeologist Dennis Price said
Amid the aura of gloom that surrounds Stonehenge, it comes as a beam of light to find a child's toy lovingly placed with the tiny corpse to keep him or her company through eternity. I'm not aware of hedgehogs having any significance in pagan tradition so the discovery must rank as yet another unique and baffling aspect of one of the most famous and instantly recognizable prehistoric monuments on Earth. To my mind, the hedgehog possesses a real charm and an innocent beauty.
Archaeologists treat the find as an important milestone that will throw light into the Britain's stone age. The hedgehog, roughly shaped from chalk and complete with four stumpy legs, is the first piece of art depicting a recognizable object extracted from a Stonehenge.
Joshua Pollard of the University of Bristol who co-headed the mission said
Evidence of toys during this period in British history is "extremely scant. In fact, it's very rare to find any kind of representational art in British prehistory—almost to the extent where you get the impression there's a bit of a taboo on making images of animals or people.Stonehenge, a UNESCO World Heritage site is believed to be around 3000 years old dating back to late Bronze Age or early Iron Age.