|12 February 2006
Axe head excites experts
Amateur archaeologists in Angus (Scotland) have stumbled across what is thought to be a burial ground dating back thousands of years. What they first believed to be a long-gone settlement, covered up over time, could prove to be ancient graves after the discovery of a rare artefact. An archaeology expert is now toying with launching an in-depth excavation of a field at Mill of Invereighty, near Forfar, following the find.
Excitement is growing at Kinnettles and District Heritage Group after member David Mackland, from Carnoustie, found part of a beautifully polished small stone axe and a piece of worked flint. He was one of 11 people who turned out for the first winter field walk of the year, organised by the group in a bid to uncover some of the areaís secrets from the past. The find was made in a field where members uncovered neolithic ring-marked stones, associated with earth houses, last summer. This time round they noticed the field had several large slabs of stone sticking vertically through the ploughed surface.
John Sherriff, archaeologist from the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Scotland, who helps and advises the searchers, said the axe find was quite rare. Intriguingly, they are often associated with neolithic graves or burial mounds. Heritage society archaeological co-ordinator Dave Walsh said the large piece of flint, almost certainly sourced outside Angus, might have been part of grave goods. "There is now a suggestion that a low ridge or mound in the field, which we had considered a possible dwelling site, with a souterrain (earth house), might in fact be a neolithic or bronze age burial site," he said.
The finds are to be taken to the National Museum in Edinburgh for conservation and evaluation. History expert Mr Sherriff hopes to run a test excavation later this year to find out if there are deeper structures. The groupís next outing will be in a neighbouring field, as the possible burial mound may extend into it. Mr Walsh said anyone keen to join in on February 19 should call him on 01307 820367 for more details.
Source: The Courier (11 February 2006)
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