Kirkintilloch museum’s new exhibit is a real treasure

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A CHANCE find dating back more than three thousand years has become the latest star exhibit at a popular museum.

Staff at Kirkintilloch’s Auld Kirk Museum recently unveiled the Bronze Age axe head which was discovered near Bardowie.

The ancient tool is a well-preserved example of a Baldersby axe - named after an area of Yorkshire where several have previously been found.

Experts say it would have been made in around 1400-1300BC, with the bronze being created by melting copper and tin in a crucible.

The molten metal would then have been cast into shape using stone or clay moulds.

Peter McCormack, museums development officer for East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust, said: “People looked upon metalworking as a kind of magic, bringing something new into existence: melting rocks to forge metal.”

It’s thought the axe would have been originally made in Ireland, although how it ended up in East Dunbartonshire is a mystery.

The museum purchased the object after it was registered as treasure trove by the finder, who will now receive a cash reward.

All ancient object found in Scotland are regarded as Treasure Trove - giving museums the first chance to buy objects which cast light on the nation’s history and protecting them for future generations.

Peter added: “Perhaps this axe head was used for working wood? We’ll never know for sure, but it is a wonderful object to add to the Auld Kirk Museum’s collection.

“The last object we acquired as a result of Treasure Trove was a wonderful Neolithic carved stone ball. While not quite as old as that, this axe head takes us back to the time when metal working technology was spreading across Britain and Europe.”

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