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25 November 2015
Nature reserve in Scotland yields prehistoric artefacts

There is a nature reserve on Inner Hebrides of Coll, in Scotland (UK). The reserve is managed by RSPB Scotland (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds). Recently a team comprising the RSPB, National Museums Scotland and the Scottish Treasure Trove Unit, carried out an archaeological investigation around an area which had previously been a freshwater loch.
     RSPB Scotland not only looks after birds but is also involved in conservation & sustainability and preservation of habitats and nature in general, across its reserves and so is responsible for overseeing any archaeological investigations that may impact on the habitat. The Treasure Trove Unit in Scotland ensures that significant objects from Scotland's past are preserved in museums for public benefit.
     What they found appears to relate to an ancient ceremony. The broken remains of at least seven weapons, dating from approximately 1,000 BCE, were found, which were probably thrown into the loch as part of a ritual to appease the gods.
     Trevor Cowie, of the National Museums Scotland, Department of Scottish History and Archaeology, is quoted as saying "While a fair number of objects from this period have been discovered in the west of Scotland in the past, we generally know very little about the precise places where they were found. Archaeological techniques have developed dramatically since the first 19th Century discoveries were made, so we have a great opportunity here to resolve many unanswered questions about life on Coll some 3,000 years ago".
     These objects will now be displayed in the Kilmarton Museum in Argyll, and it is hoped that local interest groups such as museums and universities will investigate their history in greater depth.

Edited from RSPB (15 October 2015)

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