Thursday, June 23, 2005

Ancient bone not from Napoleonic monkey spy

The bone was found on a beach near Hartlepool along with some frog legs.

Hopes of unravelling the mystery of the legendary Hartlepool monkey - said to have been hanged as a Napoleonic spy - have been scuppered by science.
Earlier this month archaeologists hoped a leg bone found in the sea close to the town could have been from a monkey.

Folklore says a French ship was wrecked off Hartlepool in the Napoleonic Wars. A monkey found in the water was hanged by fishermen fearing it was a spy.

However, tests show the bone to be from a prehistoric deer.

The mystery was solved by experts from the Department of Archaeology at the University of Durham and Tees Archaeology.

Peter Rowe, of Tees Archaeology, said: "We could tell straight away that the bone was ancient. It has a tell-tale black surface which suggests that it has come from a prehistoric peat bed.

Story here.

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