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18 February 2011
Neolithic axe head unearthed in Perth

Among hundreds of rare artefacts unearthed by treasure hunters in Scotland last year and handed to the Crown Office as part of Scotland's annual Treasure Trove, one of the most significant finds was a 6000-year-old Neolithic polished greenstone axe head discovered in Perth (north of Edinburgh), which is thought to date to between 4000 and 2200 BCE. Historians say axe heads were often traded or exchanged as gifts. In later periods they were used as amulets, as they were believed to have magical properties.
     A Bronze Age penannular gold ring was also found at Burghead, Moray (on the North Sea, east of Inverness). Although commonly referred to as 'ring money', these rings were more likely to have been a form of personal adornment.
     Another significant find was a Pictish carved stone at Strath of Kildonan in Sutherland (north of Inverness). Although missing the top right hand side, the image of the hindquarters of a stag is visible above the Pictish 'crescent and v-rod' symbol. It is only one of two Pictish symbol stones in Sutherland situated inland rather than on the coast.

Edited from STV, BBC News (16 February 2011)

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