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Wednesday 27 August 2014

Ancient Scottish home unearthed

Published 18/11/2012 | 00:43

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The ancient dwelling was discovered during preparation for the building of the Forth Replacement Crossing

The remains of what is believed to be one of Scotland's earliest homes have been uncovered during construction works.

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The ancient dwelling was discovered during archaeological excavation works in a field at Echline in South Queensferry in preparation for the building of the Forth Replacement Crossing.

A large oval pit nearly seven metres in length is all that remains of the dwelling that has been dated to the Mesolithic period, around 10,252 years ago.

It has been recorded as one of the earliest houses in Scotland.

Rod McCullagh, a senior archaeologist at Historic Scotland, said: "This discovery and, especially, the information from the laboratory analyses adds valuable information to our understanding of a small but growing list of buildings erected by Scotland's first settlers after the last glaciation, 10,000 year ago.

"The radiocarbon dates that have been taken from this site show it to be the oldest of its type found in Scotland which adds to its significance."

The remains feature a number of postholes which would have held wooden posts to support the walls and roof, probably covered with turf.

Several internal fireplace hearths were also identified and more than 1,000 flint artefacts were found including materials which would have been used as tools and arrowheads.

Other discoveries included large quantities of charred hazelnut shells, suggesting they were an important source of food for the occupants of the house.

Archaeologists believe the dwelling would have been occupied on a seasonal basis, probably during the winter months, rather than all year round.

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