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Perth and Kinross


Dig brings some excitement to Dull village

DULL by name but not by nature.

The sleepy Perthshire hamlet of Dull may be a collection of cottages with an unfortunate name that makes it the butt of many jokes, but an archaeological excavation is uncovering that it was once one of the most important places in Scotland.

The Dull Dig, which will be open to the public from Saturday until June 27, is a rare chance to view an archaeological excavation uncovering aspects of Scotland's most distant past.

Alan Graham, director of operations at Perthshire Tourist Board, said: "The dig is one of the focal points of Perthshire Archaeology Week, a programme of exhibitions, guided walks, lectures and activities that will highlight the rich and varied history of the heart of Scotland.

"During the week, visitors will be able to sample underwater archaeology, explore one of Europe's best-preserved Roman forts, walk to Dunsinnan - best known for its association with Macbeth's castle of Dunsinane - visit a 5000-year-old axe factory, join a landscape survey and much more."

The area around Dull has been inhabited for at least 5000 years. In the 7th century, it became a place of solitude and retreat for St Adamnan, the biographer of St Columba, who is attributed with halting the plague in the area by the miracle of casting the evil spirits of the disease into a rock.
In the Dark Ages from the 7th century onwards, Dull was the foremost centre of ecclesiastical learning in Scotland with an early Christian monastic complex and a thriving community with paved streets devoted to different trades.

Dull's influence waned as it was superseded by Dunkeld and St Andrews, but as late as the 12th century it housed a Trionensian priory established by King David I of Scotland.

Now much of the history of Dull is being uncovered through the archaeological dig at Dull parish church, which is thought to occupy the site of the original monastery. Excavations last year uncovered the remains of an earlier building below the church as well as pottery and human remains.

- June 11th 2003
nickbrand Posted by nickbrand
13th June 2003ce

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