Bronze age scot hoard 2.jpg
Part of the Bronze Age hoard found near Peebles in the Scottish Borders. Image: Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service Scotland.

You have 2 more free articles remaining

The find includes a complete horse harness and sword with some organic material still intact, such as leather and wood, giving archaeologists the chance to discover more about how the harness would have been connected and used.

Uncovered at a site near Peebles in the Scottish Borders, it is only the second time hoard of this kind has been found in Scotland.

The hoard, dating from 1000-900BC, was discovered by Mariusz Stepien who was searching the field with friends on June 21 when he found a bronze object buried half a metre underground.

Stepien contacted the Treasure Trove Unit to report his find.

He said: “I thought I've never seen anything like this before and felt from the very beginning that this might be something spectacular and I've just discovered a big part of Scottish history. I was over the moon, actually shaking with happiness.”

Bronze age scot hoard.jpg

Metal detectorist Mariusz Stepien who was searching a field with friends on June 21 when he found a bronze object. Image: Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service Scotland.

Archaeologists spent 22 days investigating the site and Stepien and his friends camped in the field and built a shelter to protect the find from the elements.

During the dig, archaeologists found a sword still in its scabbard, decorated straps, buckles, rings, ornaments and chariot wheel axel caps. There is also evidence of a decorative ‘rattle pendant’ that would have hung off the harness – the first one to be found in Scotland and only the third in the UK.

2455NEDI Bronze age scot hoard.jpg

Elements of a harness that is part of a Bronze Age hoard found near Peebles in the Scottish Borders. Image: Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service Scotland.

Emily Freeman, head of the Treasure Trove Unit who is overseeing the recovery and assessment of the find, said: This is a nationally significant find – so few Bronze Age hoards have been excavated in Scotland, it was an amazing opportunity for us to not only recover bronze artefacts, but organic material as well. There is still a lot of work to be done to assess the artefacts and understand why they were deposited.

“We could not have achieved this without the responsible actions of the finder or the support of the landowners. The finder was quick to action when they realised that they had found an in situ hoard, which resulted in the Treasure Trove Unit and National Museums Scotland being on site within days of discovery.”

The hoard has been removed from the site in a large block of soil and taken to National Museums Collection Centre in Edinburgh where further excavations and research will take place.