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A 3,000-year-old bronze spearhead has been found in northeast Scotland in what archaeologists described as an incredibly rare find.
The weapon was discovered in a pit close to a Late Bronze Age settlement while excavating land at Carnoustie in Angus for two new soccer fields, reported the BBC. Alan Hunter Blair, project officer at GUARD Archaeology who is leading the excavation work at the site, said the spearhead is one of just a few to ever be found across Britain and Ireland.
A bronze sword, pin and scabbard fittings were also found in the pit beside the spearhead.
“The hoard of artifacts, which are around 3,000 years old, is the find of a lifetime,” Blair said in a BBC interview. “It is very unusual to recover such artifacts in a modern archaeological excavation, which can reveal so much about the context of its burial.”
While all of the objects are historically significant, the spearhead stands out for its gold ornamenting, which Blair and his team believe was used to highlight the weapon through the rarity and visually impressive nature of the metal.
Another weapon hoard was also found in Angus in 1963 at Pyotdykes Farm, indicating that the local warriors of 1000-800 B.C. were likely very wealthy.
The spearhead was found with fur skin around it and a type of material around the pin and scabbard, which is extremely rare due to the fact that organic remains typically don’t survive on dryland sites, according to Blair.
The excavation of the site also revealed the largest Neolithic hall, a long timber dwelling built by Europe’s first farmers, ever to be found in Scotland, dating around 4,000 BC.
Excavation work is set to continue at the Bronze Age site, which locals hope will reveal even more about their past.
“The discoveries made on land destined for sporting development have given us a fascinating insight into our Angus forebears,” Angus Council communities convener Donald Morrison told the BBC. “I look forward to learning more about our local prehistory.”
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