A secret window at a Scottish castle gives a view unseen for centuries and leads the way to an exciting archaeological investigation
Cracking open a window on a mysterious hexagonal castle on the north-west peninsula of Scotland, archaeologists say they have seen a spectacular sea view for the first time since a clan held the fortification 500 years ago.
Drilling a stone wall at Mingary Castle, which was established during Viking times, the early morning breakthrough restored a secret window on a landmark last tended to more than a century ago.
“It was with a real sense of excitement that stonemason ‘H’ started work on the outside,” said Jon Haylett, of the Mingary Castle Preservation and Restoration Trust, who lives in the nearby village of Kilchoan. Read more.
Evidence linked to one of Edinburgh’s most nefarious trade has emerged from the rear garden of a house in the Haymarket district, according to archaeologists who have linked humans remains unearthed more than a year ago to the body snatching era made infamous by Irish killers Burke and Hare.
Belonging to four adults and at least one child, the disarticulated remains — about 60 bones — feature small holes used to re-articulate the skeletons with wire. This suggests they were used for anatomical display, said experts at consultants GUARD Archaeology.
"The forensic archaeologist at GUARD also identified that some of the bones had very smooth shinny patches, suggesting that they had been handled many times," John Lawson, from the City of Edinburgh Council Archaeology Service, told Discovery News. Read more.
The recent storms that hit the Scottish coastline could reveal important new archaeological sites, according to Fife scientists.
St Andrews University archaeologists are appealing to the public to help find sites that have been uncovered by the storms.
They also hoping people contact them to record local sites that have been damaged by the recent bad weather.
Scotland has been badly damaged by wind and rain over the last two weeks.
A few of the most famous sites in Scotland are shielded behind by sea walls, but the vast majority are unprotected and vulnerable to damage. Read more.
The National Trust for Scotland is holding a community archaeological dig at Inveresk Lodge Garden near Musselburgh next month.
As part of East Lothian Archaeology and Local History Fortnight, volunteers of all ages are being invited along to the banks of the River Esk, the scene of the Battle of Pinkie, September 10, 1547.
The dig will attempt to unearth physical evidence and artefacts remaining from the battle, when Henry VIII’s English forces virtually destroyed a Scottish army of 23,000.
Henry’s goal, which he failed to achieve, was the forced marriage of his son, the future Edward Vl, to Mary Queen of Scots. Read more.
Humans had a sophisticated calendrical system thousands of years earlier than previously thought, according to new research.
The discovery is based on a detailed analysis of data from an archaeological site in northern Scotland – a row of ancient pits which archaeologists believe is the world’s oldest calendar. It is almost five thousand years older than its nearest rival – an ancient calendar from Bronze Age Mesopotamia.
Created by Stone Age Britons some 10,000 years ago, archaeologists believe that the complex of pits was designed to represent the months of the year and the lunar phases of the month. Read more.
ARCHAEOLOGISTS have discovered a secret medieval chamber and its ancient loo - hidden for centuries - during a conservation scheme to protect the oldest castle keep in Scotland.
The remarkable discovery has been made at the 700-year-old medieval tower at the National Trust for Scotland’s Drum Castle near Banchory
Drum Castle, the seat of the Chief of Clan Irvine for centuries, has the oldest keep in Scotland and is the oldest intact building in the care of the trust.
The trust is planning to bring in specialists to remove cement pointing on the ancient tower and replace it with traditional, breathable lime mortar to help preserve the historic keep. Read more.
Try this today. Ask people who they think is Scotland’s most famous woman. In response I got a couple of JK Rowlings, an Annie Lennox or two, even a Dolly the Sheep from Confused of Marchmont, but the vast majority of people immediately plump for Mary, Queen of Scots.
Almost 500 years after her birth she still exerts huge fascination despite the fact her reign as queen in her own right only lasted from 1561 to 1567. Short-lived it may have been, but it was action-packed. Mary’s time on earth was crammed with romance, murder, mystery, betrayals, imprisonment and finally a beheading. The full facts may never be known – was she involved in her second husband’s murder, abducted and raped by her third? Despite the intense scrutiny she has always attracted, it’s not clear.
“Mary is of abiding interest because she was a woman in a man’s world,” says David Forsyth, Senior Curator, Scottish Social History and Diaspora at National Museums Scotland. Read more.
Extensive Ancient Underground Network Discovered From Scotland to Turkey
German archaeologist Dr Heinrich Kusch, in his latest book ‘Secrets of the Underground Door to an Ancient World’ has revealed that tunnels were dug under literally hundreds of Neolithic settlements all over Europe and the fact that so many tunnels have survived 12,000 years indicates that the original network must have been huge.
‘In Bavaria in Germany alone we have found 700metres of these underground tunnel networks. In Styria in Austria we have found 350metres,’ he said. ‘Across Europe there were thousands of them – from the north in Scotland down to the Mediterranean.
The tunnels are quite small, measuring only 70cm in width, which is just enough for a person to crawl through. In some places there are small rooms, storage chambers and seating areas. Read more.