'Viking' anchor to return to the Isle of Skye

Anchor; pic courtesy of Central Scotland News Agency The anchor was buried in peat and revealed by heavy rain

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An ancient anchor found buried in peat is to return to Skye following analysis by experts at National Museums Scotland in Edinburgh.

Graeme MacKenzie discovered the rusting artefact while digging a drain close to his home on the island.

Under Treasure Trove rules, the crofter said he would receive a "modest sum".

Mr MacKenzie, a member of Sleat Local History Society, said he was pleased it would be displayed at the Museum of the Isles in Armadale.

National Museums Scotland said the type of anchor was in use from the Viking period until the Middle Ages.

Experts were unable to date it any more precisely.

Mr MacKenzie made the find after hiring a digger to open the drain on rough pastureland about 50yds (46m) from his home near Sleat.

Heavy rain later washed away the bottom of the drain and exposed the top end of the anchor.

Mr MacKenzie, a history enthusiast, said: "The funny thing was I wasn't looking to make any kind of find, I was purely making a drain.

"A few days of heavy rain washed away some of the peat and at the bottom of the drain I noticed a piece of metal.

"I started to pull it out of the ground and saw there were hooks at the end of the shaft. It was lucky it did not break as it is very fragile."

Mr MacKenzie believes the peat may have preserved the artefact.

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