Archaeologists Battle Over Bannockburn Stakes

Three wooden stakes, long thought to have been the only surviving artifacts from Scotland's Battle of Bannockburn, have recently been dated and proven to be much older than the 13th century battle. Legend says that Scottish wit foiled the British at the Battle of Bannockburn, where fighters under the command of Robert the Bruce used wooden stakes planted into the ground to impale the British cavalry. Three stakes, displayed at Stirling's Smith Art Gallery and Museum, were long thought to have been stakes from the battle, but new research methods may have proved them to be much older. Carbon-dating places the age of the wood at 6,000 B.C.E.

"The chances of Bruce?s men finding the wood over 7,000 years later and recycling it as spikes are highly remote," said Dr Tony Pollard of Glasgow University.

Local historians are not pleased but as one archaeologists said, archaeology is as much about debunking as discovery.

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