Entire Iron Age village discovered at lochside
ARCHAEOLOGISTS yesterday announced the discovery of an entire Iron Age village on an until-now unexamined site on the west bank of Loch Lomond.
A team from the West of Scotland Archaeology Service and a research unit at Glasgow University have spent months digging and sifting through soil at the site, which is being cleared for a golf course and leisure development.
Among their finds is a pre-Christian Iron Age glass bead described as "a national treasure".
The bead has "a beautiful swirled design" of which only one other example exists in Scotland.
A spokesman for the West of Scotland Archaeology Service said yesterday: "The investigations have revealed an unprecedented concentration of previously unknown archaeological sites.
"It gives us a fantastic opportunity to increase, and in some cases alter, our understanding of the past. The glass bead find is a significant one and will be regarded as a national treasure."
The Iron Age village dates from around 100 BC, while digs on the site, have revealed three small Bronze Age urn cemeteries dating from around 1800 BC and an early Christian burial site.
Taken together, the discoveries prove that the 300-acre site at Mid Ross, Loch Lomondside, has been inhabited for three millennia.
The investigations were launched as part of a planning agreement which was reached between the De Vere Group, which is developing the site, and the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority (NPA).
An NPA spokeswoman said: "As part of the planning agreement between the developers and the National Park Authority, the West of Scotland Archaeology Service specified a programme of archaeological investigations.
"Glasgow University archaeological research division was commissioned by the De Vere Group to survey and monitor the site as it is being cleared. The exercise has so far proved to be incredibly rewarding.
"No evidence of any Iron Age village, Christian burial site or urn cemetery had previously been recorded.
"While some of the finds can be explained, the archaeologists are expecting years of work ahead analysing and interpreting what they have discovered.
"The Iron Age bead find is especially prized."
The chairman of the NPA planning committee, Councillor Gillie Thomson, said after visiting the site: "This is a huge site close to Loch Lomond and it now seems that it has been inhabited over a very long time.
"Seeing the artefacts and remains of dwellings on site like this really brings you closer to the people that lived here in the past.
"This development has given us a unique opportunity for study."
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