A couple from Banbury discovered a 3000 year-old Bronze Age knife whilst holidaying on the Isle of Wight.
Christopher and June Preece were walking along Sandown Beach on the eastern coast of the island with a metal detector when they discovered the prehistoric tool under a thick slab of clay.
Mr Preece, of Green Lane, handed the find to staff at the Isle of Wight visitor centre who in turn passed on the object for expert analysis.
The 50 year-old artist said it was later confirmed the knife dates back to about 1000 BC by finds liaison officer Frank Basford.
The knife probably used as a leather working tool.
Mr Preece, an artist, said: “I just lifted up this big clay slab and found these objects underneath. I scraped away the muck and I could see this lovely green patina, so I knew it was copper.
“I have never found anything as good as this. I feel really happy that I have saved a piece of history that otherwise would have lost forever.
“It is incredible really to think that the last person to have touched the knife was probably the person who dropped it thousands of years ago.”
The couple also discovered a 17th century metal button during their holiday in early July.
The objects have now gone on display at Newport Roman Villa.