“With me is Doctor Barratt of the Midshire University Archaeology Department.”
“Doctor, what exactly am I looking at?”
“Our most recent dig. Our most exciting one in decades.”
The reporter glances into the dugout. “But what is it?”
“A barrow mound, carbon dating estimates 1000 BCE, with a 10% margin for error.”
“In a field in the middle of nowhere? How did you find it?”
“It began as a class project. A search for anomalies by studying aerial photography. Several candidates and not one to balk at a challenge, this is the one I chose. We hoped we’d strike gold, and… Some of the artefacts are amazing..”
“A diamond encrusted bronze plate is the most valuable piece, but a clay pot sealed with pitch contained a surprise. The most important discovery is a windup toy and a ball similar in size to a modern football. The body was that of a child.”
“3000 year old clockwork?”
“Nothing quite so exotic, but it was driven by a spring.”
“And the contents of the pot?”
“A fish, coated in what could only be described as batter.”
“Aren’t barrow mounds normally above ground?”
“There are a lot of mines in the area. Five hundred years ago, the workings beneath it collapsed causing the whole mound to slump into a deep dip which gradually filled with debris over time.”
“Thank you, doctor. Dennis Mulligan, BBC news, Cheshire.”
The screen switched back to the studio.
“Sport now, and Manchester United have announced a new lineup”
The TV turned off.
“I think that went rather well. Score one for us.” Barratt grinned.
Barratt’s assistant stared at the blank TV, worry creasing his brow. “But what if they catch us? It’s the most audacious hoax since Piltdown Man!”
“I wouldn’t worry about that.”