Archaeological News

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Posts tagged "scotland"

An Iron Age village plus a host of ancient artefacts including tools and jewellery have been discovered on a construction site.

The finds were made by teams working on the £17 million A75 Dunragit bypass in Wigtownshire.

Tools, arrowheads, urns and bead necklaces from the Mesolithic (9000 BC to 4500 BC), Neolithic (4500 BC to 2000 BC), Bronze (2500 BC to 800 BC) and Iron Ages (800 BC to 500 AD) were found, along with the Iron Age village and a Bronze Age cemetery.

A 130-piece jet bead necklace was of particular interest to archaeologists, who were able to trace its origin in Whitby, North Yorkshire, around 155 miles from where it was found. Read more.

Thousands of flint artefacts found in a South Lanarkshire field were the tools of hunters chasing herds of wilds and horses during the late late-glacial period, say archaeologists investigating the oldest evidence of human occupation ever recorded in Scotland, from 14,000 years ago.

Roaming before the re-emergence of glacial conditions which saw Scotland depopulated once more, the first settlers in Scotland left more than 5,000 artefacts at Howburn, near Biggar, where the local archaeology group unearthed them between 2005 and 2009.

They are said to be “strikingly similar” to similar European discoveries from the same period. Read more.

A cist burial spotted hanging from a cliff on the edge of Scotland came from the ceremony of a Bronze Age adult cremated swiftly after their death, say archaeologists investigating the bones of a body whose skull carried a tumour.

Cracks and warping of the remains, which belonged to someone of indeterminate gender, suggest the body was still fleshed when it was cremated in a service accompanied by a tonne of burning wood.

The bones were secured in a daring rescue mission on the eroding face of a sand cliff at Sannox, on the Isle of Arran, where experts used a mechanical cherry picker and balanced on harnesses to remove two cists. Read more.


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.