Conserved Coll Hoard returns to Kilmartin Museum

Thirteen Bronze Age artefacts discovered on the Isle of Coll in 2015 have returned to Kilmartin Museum after being cleaned and conserved at The Scottish Conservation Studio in Edinburgh, thanks to supporters of last year’s crowdfunding campaign. Run by Kilmartin Museum, the campaign raised over £10,000, allowing these ancient artefacts to be saved from active bronze disease and preserved to prevent further decay.

The Hoard was discovered as a single deposit and awarded to Kilmartin Museum, the nearest museum to the Isle of Coll, by the Scottish Finds Allocation Panel.

Last April, the Museum ran a crowdfunding campaign to raise the money needed to preserve the delicate metal items. Some of the pieces were suffering from active bronze disease, so it was important to get them treated quickly by a professional Conservator. The campaign was a success and the Coll Hoard headed off to Edinburgh.  Enough money was also raised for radiocarbon dating to take place: residual wood found in the sockets of three of the spearheads dates from between 1120-810 B.C., implying that the Hoard had been deposited over a long period of time.

Kilmartin Museum are delighted with the work conservator Will Murray has done on the Hoard. While the pieces will never look as good as new, they are now fit for display and to be researched. Unfortunately the current Museum gallery does not have the space to showcase these unique items. The Museum is currently undertaking an ambitious Redevelopment Project: an extension will join the existing manse and steading buildings. The new Museum exhibition area will be three times bigger than the current one, allowing many unique and internationally important artefacts, such as the Coll Hoard, to become part of the permanent exhibition.

To find out more about the Redevelopment Project and how you can help make sure the Coll Hoard can be displayed for everyone to enjoy, visit or come and see us at Kilmartin Museum.