Tuesday 6 December 2016

3,000-year-old weapons found on Isle of Coll nature reserve

Published 15/10/2015 | 00:11

The artefacts were found in a former loch on the Isle of Coll
The artefacts were found in a former loch on the Isle of Coll
The artefacts were found in a former loch on the Isle of Coll
An archaeologist takes part in a dig in a former loch at the RSPB Scotland site on the Isle of Coll (RSPB/PA)

Archaeologists have discovered 3,000-year-old weapons buried on an island's nature reserve.

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The Bronze Age broken swords and spearheads were found in a former loch at the RSPB Scotland site on the Isle of Coll.

In total, 12 objects were excavated from at least seven separate weapons.

They have been handed to a local museum for conservation and care.

Jill Harden, RSPB Scotland reserves archaeologist, said: "This is the first discovery of this size from Argyll for many years.

"The items were recovered from what had once been a freshwater loch - it seems that they had been purposely broken and cast into the waters as part of a ceremony, most likely as offerings or gifts to the gods or goddesses of the time.

"It is recorded that bronze swords were found on Coll in the 19th century during drainage works, but their whereabouts today are unknown."

The archaeological investigation was directed by the Treasure Trove Unit, National Museums Scotland and the wildlife charity.

Trevor Cowie, from National Museums Scotland's department of Scottish history and archaeology, said: "While a fair number of objects from this period have been discovered in the west of Scotland in the past, we generally know very little about the precise places where they were found.

"A rchaeological techniques have developed dramatically since those 19th century discoveries were made, so we have a great opportunity here to resolve many unanswered questions about life on Coll some 3,000 years ago."

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