Remains of an Iron Age settlement discovered

The remains of an iron age settlement like the one pictured above have been unearthed near Aberdeen. Picture: TSPL
The remains of an iron age settlement like the one pictured above have been unearthed near Aberdeen. Picture: TSPL
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Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of an Iron Age settlement on the grounds of a proposed road and car park.

Remnants of timber roundhouses and historic smithing materials have been dug up on a site earmarked for a park and ride site.

Pottery from the early Bronze Age has also been recovered from the field where construction work to ease traffic congestion along the A96 Aberdeen to Inverness road is due to begin.

Excavators were tasked with carrying out investigatory works as part of a condition attached to planning permission for the site in Dyce.

The initial archaeological evaluation revealed a range of archaeological features which needed further examination.

Aberdeen City Council employed AECOM and Headland Archaeology to dig up a relatively undisturbed piece of ground in an area where prehistoric finds had been uncovered in the past.

Yesterday (TUE) archaeologist Eddie Bailey said it was “remarkable” to see how the land was continually used by historic settlements.

He said: “Domestic occupation in the area has been found in the form of the remains of timber constructed roundhouses, with hearths and remnants of compacted floor and activity surfaces, which so far seem to indicate prolonged occupation on the same site, with phases of rebuilding occurring.

“The site appears to have been significant over a 2,000 year period with Iron Age occupation and evidence of smithing and domestic life.

“Partial quern stones, used for grinding cereal crops, have been found along with metal working residues and puts containing probable fire rakings of meals and every day life.

“The Headland Archaeology team are genuinely excited by the opportunity to excavate the site, and while there is still much to do to fully understand the picture, once the excavation has been completed, the team have welcomed the opportunity to begin to tell a real story of early life in Aberdeen.”

The archaeology team has been working on land near Aberdeen International Airport on the outskirts of the city.

Evidence of industrial, agricultural and domestic activity dating from the early Bronze Age (2300BC) through to the 1800s was uncovered.

Medieval agricultural activity has also been discovered and later ridge and furrow field systems, with the remains of possible farm buildings evidenced on site.

Small pits and post-holes can be seen on the ground marking the foundation posts of the roundhouses.

The excavators will now analyse the finds with the help of experts and write a report on the dig.

The Scottish Archaeological Finds Allocation Panel, which will eventually hand the recovered objects over to a registered museum.

Aberdeen City Councillor Barney Crockett, convener of Enterprise, Strategic Planning and Infrastructure, said: “The discoveries made by the team of archaeologists during this dig are very exciting.

“I think the people of Aberdeen and much further afield will be absolutely fascinated by what has been discovered and keen to see some of the finds for themselves.”