Explore the Iron Age finds The excavations at Birnie have produced a wide range of finds which bring the past alive. These pages showcase a selection of finds from the site. You can see the best finds on display in Elgin Museum. Glass Beads Above: Two locally-made Iron Age glass beads (left bead 15 mm in diameter). Stone Tools Above: Stone tools used for preparing leather, grinding grain and sharpening knives. Although people had metal tools, stone was still used because it was convenient and cheap (75-100 mm long). Quern Stone Above: Quern stone used for grinding grain. It was used so much that a hollow was worn into the stone (600 mm long). Canal Coal Jewellery Above: Two pieces of jewellery made from a black stone known as cannel coal. This is not local to the area, and must have been imported. One is an unfinished bead, the other a broken pendant (bead diameter 20 mm). Crucible Fragments Above: Fragments of moulds and crucibles from bronze-casting. These are late Bronze Age in date, c.1000-800 BC. Chariot Ring Above: Bronze harness ring from a chariot. The chariot was the sports car of the Iron Age, and shows that wealthy people lived at Birnie (width 45 mm). Hilt of Iron Sword Above: Hilt of an iron sword. Swords were rare weapons in the Iron Age – only important people had them. This one was deliberately broken before it was buried (H 110mm). Curved Knife Above: Curved iron knife with spiral handle - perhaps a razor (length 90 mm). Gold Torc Above: Terminal of a gold torc. Gold was very rare in the Iron Age, and was only used by the most important of people (H 10mm). Gold Torc Above: This intact torc was found about 10 km from Birnie. Pictish Brooch Left: Artist’s reconstruction of the original Pictish brooch. Right: This Pictish brooch dates to about 800 AD. It shows that people still lived at Birnie long after the Iron Age (height 33 mm). Iron Age Crucible Above: Iron Age crucible used for casting bronze. Although iron was used for tools and weapons, bronze was still popular for jewellery and other decorations (width 25 mm). Excavating the site.