Balmachie Road, Carnoustie; Bronze Age Hoard Excavation Data Structure Report Project 4572 - NMS Research Repository
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Balmachie Road, Carnoustie; Bronze Age Hoard Excavation Data Structure Report Project 4572

3 March 2017


1.1 On Friday 9th September 2016 a small hoard of copper alloy objects within a well defined pit was uncovered by a team of GUARD Archaeology Ltd archaeologists during topsoil stripping as part of the wider programme of strip, map and record works being undertaken at David Moyes Road, Carnoustie on behalf of Angus Council to satisfy archaeology conditions attached to the Planning Application 15/00117/FULM for two new football pitches. The initial stripping partially revealed the blades of a bronze sword and spearhead, the proximal end of the spearhead having a shaft decorated with gold detailing. The objects were lifted as an 80 Kg block and transported to Guard Archaeology Ltd facilities in Glasgow. The site was secured initially through 24hr guard over the weekend of 10th and 11th September, and was subsequently secured more permanently using 6 ft high heras fencing forming a perimeter around the entire development area. The vicinity of the hoard, and the entire investigation area was metal detected using a discrete hand held probing device to ensure that no similar items survived on site. 1.2 Prior to excavation work commencing, X-radiography and CT-scan images were obtained of the block in order to identify the extent and additional objects contained within. Arrangements were made for the commencement of excavation by a GUARD Project Officer with the assistance of an Artefact Conservator to advise on and carry out any immediate conservation processes necessary. The 17 day programme of excavation began on the 17th of October 2016, with the systematic recovery of all the metal objects and related organic materials, which were revealed to have been preserved to an unprecedented degree. All of the surrounding contextual pit deposit was systematically excavated and retained so that appropriate environmental analysis could be carried out. 1.3 Over the course of the works, guidance and advice was sought from various environmental and material specialists, along with leading experts in the field of Bronze Age artefact studies. This included visits by specialists in order to assess the materials and carry out preliminary identification in order that suitable recommendations for analysis and conservation could be made.


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