On Friday 9th September 2016, the GUARD Archaeologist monitoring the machine excavation of topsoil noticed something green just underneath the topsoil. Green is a sign of something with copper in it (like bronze) as this is the colour that oxidised copper turns. However, there was also a glint of gold, which is much more unusual (one of the reasons that gold is highly valued is that it doesn’t change colour like bronze or iron). While the green artefact appears to be a blade, the gold is decorated and appears to be part of a socket of another bronze artefact.
Owing to the fragile nature of these remains and that the site was going to be left open for the weekend, our team removed the entire pit (and the surrounding subsoil which it was cut into) as a single 80 kg block of soil. This was then delivered to our Edinburgh Office that same day, where it could be safely stored over the weekend.