Unique Bronze Age burial uncovered in Scotland

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Archaeologists in Perthshire (Scotland) have unearthed a spectacular early Bronze Age grave containing a gold-banded dagger still wrapped in its 4,000-year-old sheath. The discovery was made by archaeologists from Glasgow and Aberdeen universities. In 2008 they found a large sandstone slab, weighing four tons, measuring 2m x 2m and 40cm thick, but had to wait a year for it to be lifted. Last week, a crane was brought in and the 4,000 year old grave was revealed.

Beneath the capstone archaeologists found a meticulously-constructed high-status stone lined cist burial, containing traces of human remains which had been laid on a bed of quartz pebbles and interwoven lattice of birch bark, with copper objects including a dagger with a leather scabbard, fragments of a wooden bowl, and at the head a wooden and leather container. While few traces survive of the body buried in the primitive stone coffin, found near the village of Forteviot, several clues suggest the remains are those of a tribal leader or warrior of 'tremendous importance'. More astonishing, said archeologists, were the organic materials preserved in the sealed grave.

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