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Burn Of Blown

Sword (Wood)

Site Name Burn Of Blown

Classification Sword (Wood)

Alternative Name(s) Grotsetter; Tankerness

Canmore ID 2331

Site Number HY40NE 17

NGR HY 4931 0632

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

C14 Radiocarbon Dating


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Orkney Islands
  • Parish St Andrews And Deerness
  • Former Region Orkney Islands Area
  • Former District Orkney
  • Former County Orkney

Archaeology Notes

HY40NE 17 4931 0632.

(Approx. HY.4931 0632). The first reasonably complete wooden sword from the European Bronze Age, was discovered in June, 1957 during peat-cutting, by Mr. Robert Petrie, Grotsetter, Tankerness. The find spot was 50 yds N. of the Burn of Blown, a quarter of a mile S. of the Five Hillocks at HY 493 063.

The sword, which is of yew, is dateable to 900-700 BC; the pommel and upper part of the grip were lost in antiquity and all the evidence is that the sword was made for use as such and not for votive or ceremonial purpose. It is a replica of the earliest British series of leaf-shaped bronze swords - those with a lozenge cross-section.

It has been acquired for National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS). Accession No.DL.62. Listed as Late Bronze Age.

R B K Stevenson 1957; 1960; J M Coles 1962; Recorded on NMAS 6 "map.

Siting confirmed at HY 4931 0632.

Information from R B K Stevenson, Keeper NMAS Edinburgh

In 1957 a leaf-shaped sword of late Bronze Age style, made of yew and probably a functional weapon, was found during peat-digging near the Burn of Blown. (Royal Museum of Scotland, no.DL 62)

(Undated) information in NMRS.

Possible practice weapon.

C Earwood 1993.


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