Metal detectorist finds hoard of Bronze Age artefects in ‘significant’ discovery

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A metal detectorist has uncovered a hoard of Bronze Age artefacts which experts have described as “nationally significant”.

Mariusz Stepien, 44, was investigating a field near Peebles in the Scottish Borders with friends on June 21 when he found a bronze object buried underground.

The group camped in the field and built a shelter to protect the find from the elements while archaeologists spent 22 days investigating.

Among the items found were a complete horse harness – preserved by the soil – and a sword estimated to date back from 1000 to 900 BC.



Mariusz Stepien stands next to the hoard ready for transport back to Edinburgh for further examination

Mr Stepien 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. We wanted to be a part of the excavation from the beginning to the end.

“I will never forget those 22 days spent in the field. Every day there were new objects coming out which changed the context of the find, every day we learned something new.

“I’m so pleased that the earth revealed to me something that was hidden for more than 3000 years. I still can’t believe it happened.”

Decorated straps, buckles, rings, ornaments and chariot wheel axle caps were also discovered.

The collection of artefacts has been moved from the site in a large block of soil and taken to the National Museums Collection Centre in Edinburgh.

Emily Freeman, head of the Treasure Trove Unit 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.”



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