What began as a study of native American culture at the Friendship Village School turned into the realization that an artifact found in a scallop drag is actually 3,500 years old.

Jimmy Wotton found the ax head in his scallop drag a few years ago. When his son Myron's class began studying native American history, he allowed him to bring it in for show and tell.

Utilizing some contacts, teacher Kate Flanagan had the artifact sent away to the Maine Historic Preservation Commission where it was analyzed.

Archaeologist Arthur Spiess sent Myron a letter explaining the history of the piece. The findings explained that the stone is an ax made by Native Americans about 3,500 years ago. The sharpened end that did the chopping was broken off. It probably had a heavy wooden handle around the grooved end.

Spiess' letter said the "groove around the hafted end" was characteristic of how Native Americans of that era made axes.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or by email at bbirmingham@courierpublicationsllc.com.