A Bronze Age axe was discovered on the beach in Bexhill.
John Cornwall was out using his metal detector when he unearthed the find in the wet sand at low tide on Sunday, August 4.
The palstave axe is believed to be around 3,500 years old and date from between 1750 BC to 1350 BC.
John said he found the artefact near Galley Hill.
He added: “I was not expecting to find something like this on the beach. I’m a bit of a metal detector enthusiast and have found things like musket balls dating from the Napoleonic era, as well as pre-decimal and Victorian coins along the beach in the wet sand. But I was blown away when I found this axe.”
A palstave is a type of early bronze axe. It was common in the middle Bronze Age in northern, western and south-western Europe.
John went to Bexhill Museum, which confirmed the artefact was from the Bronze Age.
The item is due to be recorded by the Finds Liaison Officer in October under the Portable Antiquities Scheme.
Julian Porter, curator at Bexhill Museum, said he believed the axe either came from the submerged ancient forest or may have been washed up from a Bronze Age shipwreck.
He added the more likely explanation was that it came from the forest, which used to run along the coast.
Julian said: “There has never been anything like this being found this close to Bexhill, the nearest being Cooden around 100 years ago.
Hopefully the axe will end up being displayed at Bexhill Museum. That would be brilliant.”
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