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Seton-Karr flint
Seton-Karr flint
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OBJECTS OF INTERESTS: A monthly article where Patricia Davies looks among the collection at the Spalding Gentlemen’s Museum

SGS Museum is a rare venue to visit. Variously described as a cornucopia of artefacts, or a kaleidoscope of curiosities – there’s just no telling what you’ll notice whilst looking around, or indeed what fascinating little trinket might escape your notice and be missed.

We are happy to be able to share some glimpses here in this new column where, each month, we will spotlight something to excite your curiosity or pique your pet interests.

This week we are looking at a prehistoric hand axe which was brought to Britain by a veritable Indiana Jones adventurer named Heywood Walter Seton-Karr. Born in 1859, Seton-Karr became an explorer, big game hunter, artist and archaeologist, a notable collector of flints during the 19th century. The adventurer went on expeditions around the world every year. This is an example of one of the flints he collected from British Somaliland in 1898 whilst out hunting big game. It was Seton-Karr’s belief that these Somaliland Flints, a kind that archaeologists and collectors had found in Europe and Asia but never before in Africa, were evidence of the evolutionary connections between Palaeolithic races of man from Britain, Asia and Africa. This theory was approved and agreed by the eminent archaeologist of the day John Evans, and thus it was asserted that Africa must be examined as the source of human origins. Further research during the 20th century has demonstrated that Africa is, indeed, the cradle of mankind. The hand axe pictured here is judged to be some 1.5 million years old, but the Honorary Curator of Archaeology at the SGS is looking forward to extending his research and adding to our knowledge about this collection.

The next SGS Museum Open Day is on Sunday 18th October from 1 p.m. until 4.30. Visitors are welcomed in to enjoy 300 years of history and curiosity. If you have any questions email info@spalding-gentlemens-society.org, or telephone us on 01775 724658.