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Bronze Age Weapons And Stone Age Structures Discovered Beneath Scotland


Robin Andrews

Science & Policy Writer

The 3,000-year-old Bronze Age sword. Guard Archaeology via Twitter

Just a few weeks back, private firm GUARD Archaeology announced that they had discovered the remnants of a long-lost and formerly mythical ancient kingdom buried beneath the hills of Scotland. Now it seems they’ve struck gold yet again – quite literally in fact – as their team has just uncovered a treasure trove of 3,000-year-old Bronze Age wonders within the very same country.

A bronze sword and a gilded spearhead are among some of the regalia dug from the rain-soaked earth near the town of Carnoustie, right by the east coast of the northern nation.


Although the immaculately preserved sword is drawing everyone’s attention, it’s the spearhead that’s really proving to be the revelation – only a handful have ever been recovered in the UK. Although spearheads themselves were fairly common objects back then, the fact that this one had gold added to it implies it had some symbolic value beyond the norm – and, tantalizingly, we may never know what.

The 3,000-year-old sword along with the remains of a sheath. GUARD Archaeology

Hilts, wooden scabbards, furs, and textiles all relating to weaponry were also excavated at the site, along with a few surrounding structures. It seems like this area was occupied by a highly combative group of ancient Britons that resided in the area long ago.


Hailing this motherlode as the “find of a lifetime”, GUARD Archaeology's project officer Alan Hunter Blair told BBC News that “it is very unusual to recover such artifacts in a modern archaeological excavation, which can reveal so much about the context of its burial.”


Remarkably, the team also came across the ruins of a Neolithic (late Stone Age) building, perhaps a meeting hall, at the same location, one that’s around 6,000 years old. This means that these ruins would have been as old to the Bronze Age warriors and settlers as their recovered weapons are to us.

Claire Herbert of ACAS, Archaeological advisers to Angus Council, said in a statement that “the archaeology uncovered at Carnoustie is undoubtedly of national and international significance, adding that it will provide “an invaluable opportunity to learn more about how people in Angus lived in the Neolithic and Bronze Age.”

It appears that this firm is on a roll right now. Just this January, their researchers told the world that the lost Dark Age Kingdom of Rheged – something that some thought was just a legend, not a real thing – had been found at Trust’s Hill in Galloway.

Excavating the sword. Livius Drusus/GUARD Archaeology via Vimeo


The excavations at both sites are still underway, however, so don’t think this is the end of the discoveries just yet. Watch this space!


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