The Sword and the Stone Age Revealed; Stunning Haul from Treasure Hunting Scots

Daily Mail (London), February 17, 2011 | Go to article overview

The Sword and the Stone Age Revealed; Stunning Haul from Treasure Hunting Scots


Byline: Lucy Christie

THROUGHOUT the long, lonely centuries, they lay hidden beneath the earth, cast aside by their owners and forgotten by history.

But now a 6,000-year-old axe-head and an Anglo-Scandinavian sword handle are once again seeing the light of day - as part of a huge collection of Scottish archaeological discoveries.

The items, which are among hundreds unearthed in 2009-10, are included in the latest Treasure Trove report listing valuacentury. ble finds by the public.

A medieval ring and silver cross pendant are also among the items expected to join the country's museum collections.

The axe-head discovered in Perth is thought to date from 4000-2200 BC - the Neolithic, or 'New Stone Age' period.

Historians say axe-heads such as this small, polished item made from greenstone were often traded or exchanged as gifts.

In later periods they were used as amulets as they were believed to have magical properties.

The sword pommel - a round counterweight set at the end of the weapon's handle - was found in Abington, Lanarkshire. Made from hollow-cast copper alloy, it dates back to the ninth or 10th A medieval ring was unearthed on the Isle of Mull, where similar jewellery has previously been located, and an engraved pendant from the same era was found in Dunstaffnage, Argyll.

Under Scottish law, the Crown has the right to all lost and abandoned property which is not otherwise owned.

The Queen's and Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer (QLTR) is responsible for claiming objects, placing them with museums and paying rewards to finders.

Catherine Dyer, who was appointed Remembrancer last year, said yesterday: 'I am delighted to present this year's report, which details the dedicated work of the Scottish Archaeological Finds Allocation Panel, the National Museums of Scotland, the Treasure Trove Unit and the QLTR office. …

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