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1 January 2005
Scottish siblings find a Bronze Age flint arrowhead

When schoolchildren Robert and Kirsty Simon chanced upon an oddly shaped piece of stone by a path, they did not realise they had found an important piece of Scotland's "ancient historical jigsaw". The brother and sister are being praised for handing in what turned out to be an early Bronze Age flint arrowhead to the National Museums of Scotland.  The find will be placed in The Museum of Edinburgh on the Royal Mile.
     The story of their unusual find comes on the day the Scottish Executive publishes its final response to the Normand Report review of treasure trove arrangements for Scotland. The preserving of historical artifacts often damaged by construction work or climatic changes has been given fresh impetus after other Bronze Age items were recently spotted being offered on the eBay internet site for as little as 16.
     Robert, 14, and Kirsty, 12, from Fairmilehead, Edinburgh, were on a day out, when they spotted an unusual stone on the path above Dunsappie Loch. Kirsty said of the find, in summer 2003: "We thought it was just a small piece of stone with most of the ends chipped off. My grandpa pointed out its shape and that it could be an arrowhead." Robert said: "My grandpa and I thought it was odd to see flint, so we looked closer and noticed how strangely shaped it was."
     The grandfather said: "I couldn't believe it. So many people are back and forward on Arthur's Seat the chance of finding something like this is extremely rare. It was the size of a thumb nail and the flint was glinting in the sun. Arthur's seat is volcanic so something made of flint stood out like a real foreign object.  It took us a year to get to the museum and when Alan Saville, the senior curator, came down to speak to us at the desk I expected him to tell us they had a drawer full. But no, he was very surprised and equally curious as there had been no report of any findings there before."
     Culture Minister Patricia Ferguson said: "A small piece of Scotland's ancient past has been uncovered which will tell us all more about how we lived and how new technologies developed and shaped Scotland's history. We have today published the executive's response to the review of treasure trove arrangements in Scotland, making it clear how much importance we attach to the responsibilities of those who find historic treasures in Scotland...Well done to Robert, Kirsty and their grandparents for helping add another valuable addition to Scotland's treasures." Under Scots law all ancient objects found must be declared to the Crown, which allocates the items to museums in Scotland. Finders are normally compensated the full market value.
     Alan Saville, senior curator of earliest prehistory at the National Museums of Scotland, said: "This arrowhead helps to throw light on the importance of the Arthur's Seat area for Bronze Age settlement.
     
Sources: BBC News, Edinburgh Evening News, The Herald (27 December 2004)

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