Giant 27-inch horn belonging to an auroch is found in the River Severn estuary

The giant horn of an extinct ancestor of modern cattle has been found in excellent condition in the River Severn estuary.

The 27-inch relic was discovered off the coast of Sudbrook, Monmouthshire, by two brothers who work as fishermen. 

Aurochs populated Britain in the Neolithic period and are thought to have gone extinct on British shores around 3,500 years ago.

Preliminary analysis of the find indicates this specific horn could be more than 5,000 years old.   

The giant horn of an extinct ancestor of modern cattle has been found in excellent condition in the River Severn estuary. The 27-inch relic was discovered by two brothers off the coast of Sudbrook, Monmouthshire

The giant horn of an extinct ancestor of modern cattle has been found in excellent condition in the River Severn estuary. The 27-inch relic was discovered by two brothers off the coast of Sudbrook, Monmouthshire

The giant horn of an extinct ancestor of modern cattle has been found in excellent condition in the River Severn estuary. The 27-inch relic was discovered by two brothers off the coast of Sudbrook, Monmouthshire

Aurochs populated Britain in the Neolithic period and are thought to have gone extinct on British shores around 3,500 years ago. Preliminary analysis of the find indicates this specific horn could be more than 5,000 years old

Aurochs populated Britain in the Neolithic period and are thought to have gone extinct on British shores around 3,500 years ago. Preliminary analysis of the find indicates this specific horn could be more than 5,000 years old

Aurochs populated Britain in the Neolithic period and are thought to have gone extinct on British shores around 3,500 years ago. Preliminary analysis of the find indicates this specific horn could be more than 5,000 years old

Aurochs were a species of large wild cattle that inhabited Asia, Europe, and North Africa and are the ancestor of domestic cattle. 

They were much bigger than modern cows, standing up to 6ft inch (two metres) tall at the shoulder.  

Martin and Richard Morgan were inspecting a site at low tide when they stumbled across the relic, weighing almost 7lbs (3kg)  

Martin Morgan, 59, said: ‘We found the horn about a week ago after those unusual summer storms kicked up the sandbanks along the Severn estuary.

Aurochs were a species of large wild cattle that inhabited Asia, Europe, and North Africa and are the ancestor of domestic cattle. They were much bigger than modern cows, standing up to 6ft inch (two metres) tall at the shoulder

Aurochs were a species of large wild cattle that inhabited Asia, Europe, and North Africa and are the ancestor of domestic cattle. They were much bigger than modern cows, standing up to 6ft inch (two metres) tall at the shoulder

Aurochs were a species of large wild cattle that inhabited Asia, Europe, and North Africa and are the ancestor of domestic cattle. They were much bigger than modern cows, standing up to 6ft inch (two metres) tall at the shoulder 

Martin and Richard Morgan were inspecting a site at low tide when they stumbled across the relic, weighing almost 7lbs (3kg) hidden in the mud

Martin and Richard Morgan were inspecting a site at low tide when they stumbled across the relic, weighing almost 7lbs (3kg) hidden in the mud

Martin and Richard Morgan were inspecting a site at low tide when they stumbled across the relic, weighing almost 7lbs (3kg) hidden in the mud

After carefully extracting the horn from the sand the brothers took it to their boat and shared pictures online. Professor Martin Bell of the University of Reading confirmed the horn was from an auroch after seeing the images

After carefully extracting the horn from the sand the brothers took it to their boat and shared pictures online. Professor Martin Bell of the University of Reading confirmed the horn was from an auroch after seeing the images

After carefully extracting the horn from the sand the brothers took it to their boat and shared pictures online. Professor Martin Bell of the University of Reading confirmed the horn was from an auroch after seeing the images

‘We normally find bits of shipwreck along the shore and we’ve developed an eye for spotting unusual things.

‘From a distance, we thought it was a bit of wood and then as we got closer, it appeared to be some kind of bone.’

After carefully extracting the horn from the sand the brothers took it to their boat and shared pictures online.

Professor Martin Bell of the University of Reading confirmed the horn was from an auroch after seeing the images. 

Professor Bell said: ‘It’s clearly well-preserved and an exciting find.

‘It looks like it’s from a fully grown adult and it’s clearly well preserved so we’re hoping to go and carbon date it, when I can travel again.’

The University of Reading said up to the middle Bronze Age the now extinct aurochs roamed the Severn Estuary wetlands.

Martin Morgan said: ‘We were over the moon, it’s a once in a lifetime discovery and we only found it by chance that we wandered there and then, it could have been gone again the next day.

‘We’ve walked this ground hundreds of times and my family have been fishing here for 100 years but we’ve found nothing of great significance.  

‘We’ve got it in a barrel of water but we definitely don’t want it to be hidden away for the long run, we’d like people to be able to see it, maybe in a museum – it’s just incredible.’

Britain began the move from ‘hunter-gatherer’ to farming and settlements about 7,000 years ago as part of the ‘Neolithic Revolution’

The Neolithic Revolution was the world’s first verifiable revolution in agriculture.

It began in Britain between about 5000 BC and 4500 BC but spread across Europe from origins in Syria and Iraq between about 11000 BC and 9000 BC.

The period saw the widespread transition of many disparate human cultures from nomadic hunting and gathering practices to ones of farming and building small settlements.

Stonehenge, the most famous prehistoric structure in Europe, possibly the world, was built by Neolithic people, and later added to during the early Bronze Age

Stonehenge, the most famous prehistoric structure in Europe, possibly the world, was built by Neolithic people, and later added to during the early Bronze Age

Stonehenge, the most famous prehistoric structure in Europe, possibly the world, was built by Neolithic people, and later added to during the early Bronze Age

The revolution was responsible for turning small groups of travellers into settled communities who built villages and towns.

Some cultures used irrigation and made forest clearings to better their farming techniques.

Others stored food for times of hunger, and farming eventually created different roles and divisions of labour in societies as well as trading economies.

In the UK, the period was triggered by a huge migration or folk-movement from across the Channel.

The Neolithic Revolution saw humans in Britain move from groups of nomadic hunter-gatherers to settled communities. Some of the earliest monuments in Britain are Neolithic structures, including Silbury Hill in Wiltshire (pictured)

The Neolithic Revolution saw humans in Britain move from groups of nomadic hunter-gatherers to settled communities. Some of the earliest monuments in Britain are Neolithic structures, including Silbury Hill in Wiltshire (pictured)

The Neolithic Revolution saw humans in Britain move from groups of nomadic hunter-gatherers to settled communities. Some of the earliest monuments in Britain are Neolithic structures, including Silbury Hill in Wiltshire (pictured)

Today, prehistoric monuments in the UK span from the time of the Neolithic farmers to the invasion of the Romans in AD 43.

Many of them are looked after by English Heritage and range from standing stones to massive stone circles, and from burial mounds to hillforts.

Stonehenge, the most famous prehistoric structure in Europe, possibly the world, was built by Neolithic people, and later finished during the Bronze Age.

Neolithic structures were typically used for ceremonies, religious feasts and as centres for trade and social gatherings.

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