Finely worked flint arrowheads, Luce Sands, Old Luce and Castle O’er, Eskdalemuir

A longbow over two metres long and about 6000 years old was discovered under peat at Rotten Bottom, near Moffat. It was made of yew, which archaeologists believe did not grow in Scotland at this time. The bow is therefore thought to have been imported, perhaps exchanged with people from further south or brought by an incomer. This bow would have fired leaf shaped flint arrowheads like this, and could have killed a person or a deer at short range.   In previous centuries people thought that flint arrowheads such as these were the weapons of fairies or elves, and there were numerous superstitions surrounding them. In Ireland when cattle became sick they were sometimes diagnosed as having been struck by an "elf arrow". In Britain it was believed that you could not find one by searching for it, and that once found they should never be exposed to the sun or the fairies would recover them and work some mischief. Sometimes they were worn as charms, in parts of Africa they were considered good for the blood, and in parts of Italy they were believed to protect against lightning strikes.
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