Archaeologists are celebrating the discovery of a centuries-old clay pipe that features one of the oldest European depictions of the Tasmanian Tiger ever seen. The remarkable object was reportedly first found a few years ago when an individual digging for antique bottles unearthed the piece at the bottom of pit which once served as a dump in the 1830s. It was subsequently sold at auction for an undisclosed price to a collector of thylacine memorabilia, who brought it to the attention of amazed researchers.
In a testament to the significance of the object, which is believed to be at least 190 years old, archaeologist Darren Watton marveled to a Tasmanian radio show that "it's hard to contain myself as to how exciting it is." Unlike similar pipes from the era in which it was believed to have originated, the piece is hand-crafted in the area rather than mass-produced in Europe. According to Watton, the depiction of the now-extinct Tasmanian Tiger on the pipe is particularly intriguing to researchers.
Find out what makes the picture on the pipe so interesting to experts at the Coast to Coast AM website.