4,000-year-old grave of 'Bronze Age hero' is uncovered near Perth





Archaeologists have uncovered the 4,000-year-old grave of a “Bronze Age hero” in a Perthshire field. The find was made at the Scottish Royal Centre, near the village of Forteviot, ten miles south of Perth, after a crane lifted up a four-tonne stone to reveal an intact burial chamber.

The carved capstone had sealed the grave so well that organic materials including wood, bark and leather survived intact as well as various metal objects. The man, who is believed to have been an important figure, had been laid out on a bed of quartz pebbles in sand, in a birch coffin, inside a larger stone chamber. He was buried with a valuable bronze dagger with a gold band — still in its leather sheath. There was also evidence of the remains of wooden possessions and floral tributes.

The find was made last week by a team of archaeologists from Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities, working on the Strathearn Environs & Royal Forteviot (SERF) project. Dr Kenneth Brophy, co-director of the project at Glasgow University, said the massive sandstone slab had been found in 2008, but the team had to wait a year for the stone to be lifted. He said the outcome was “beyond anyone’s expectation”. “The high quality of preservation is virtually unique in Britain and is of exceptional importance for understanding the important centuries when metals were first introduced into Scotland. Among the grave goods was a bronze dagger with a gold band, a discovery of national significance. Remarkably, large portions of the birch bark coffin survived as well.”



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