Byline: MAUREEN CULLEY
AT first glance, it looks like a part that has fallen from an old tractor.
But the artefact uncovered in Orkney is in fact a 3,000-year-old Bronze Age axe head in such pristine condition that experts initially thought it was a fake.
The find, discovered by workers who were excavating a bog to use the peat in whisky production, has excited archaeologists, who are stunned by its perfect state.
Michael Watt, who was digging the peat for Highland Park whisky, said he at first believed it was a tractor part and was 'gobsmacked' to learn it was the first Bronze Age axe to be found on Orkney.
County archaeologist Julie Gibson said: 'To start with I thought it must be a fake, because it's so beautiful and perfect but that is the result of it being preserved in the peat, which doesn't allow any oxygen in and keeps things perfectly.
'It has come out of the peat in the same state it was when it went in 3,000 years ago.
'You don't find beautiful pieces like this every day that are extremely well preserved from the Bronze Age period. It's a very scarce find, particularly on Orkney as we haven't found much in the way of prehistoric metalwork. …