A gold-decorated Late Bronze Age spearhead and other weapons were discovered during excavations on land being developed into council football pitches at Balmachie in Carnoustie, Scotland.
The spearhead was found beside a bronze sword, pin and scabbard fittings. According to archaeologists, it is one of only a handful of gold-decorated bronze spearheads ever found in Britain and Ireland. The discovery was made in a pit close to a Late Bronze Age settlement, and both finds are suspected to be connected. After the discovery, the whole pit was removed with the surrounding subsoil as a single block of soil weighting nearly 80 kilograms. It was carefully excavated in controlled, laboratory conditions.
What also makes the find rare is the fact that organic remains survived, including a leather and wooden scabbard, fur skin around the spearhead, and textile around the pin and scabbard. According to the researchers, gold decoration was probably added to this bronze spearhead to exalt it both through the material’s rarity and its visual impact.
The finds are estimated to be about 3000 years old and the stockpile of metalwork hints at the wealth of the local warrior society who lived in the area around 1000-800 BC.
Archaeologists also discovered much older remains of Neolithic hall, which date back to 4000 BC. This is possibly the largest structure of this kind found so far in Scotland.
Along with the weapons horde, archaeologists unearthed 1000 archaeological features in the area, including a dozen Bronze Age semi-circular houses, a pair of long Neolithic-era dwellings, and various broken pots and artefacts. It’s not clear if this site was occupied continuously for thousands of years, or if the settlements were separated in time by many centuries.
(after STV, GUARD Archaeology, Daily Mail Online & BBC News)