The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

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Skara Brae (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

Skara Brae site graffiti removed

Experts have successfully removed all traces of graffiti which had been daubed onto the ancient Skara Brae settlement on Orkney.

Poultices made up of a solvent and paper pulp were applied to the graffiti and left to take effect.

This removed much of the marker, but two further poultices with a different combination of solvents were then added to remove the remaining residue.

Story here

Edinburgh Castle (Hillfort)

Edinburgh Castle's 'lost history' unearthed

from BBC website

Archaeologists have discovered traces of ancient remains at Edinburgh Castle during preparation work for the construction of a new visitor centre.
Experts said borehole samples revealed debris dating from before the Iron Age, more than 2,000 years ago.

Historic Scotland's Peter Yeoman said the finds were "truly invaluable" because they helped to explain the site's "lost history".

Edinburgh Castle is one of Scotland's top tourist attractions.

Mr Yeoman, a senior archaeologist with the castle's owners Historic Scotland, said that it was certain that the front of the area where the castle now stands was encircled by two massive ditches as long ago as the Iron Age.

Inside the ditches are layers of remains including pottery and food debris built up over several centuries.

Edinburgh Castle stands high above the city centre on top of an extinct volcanic plug.


Towers point to ancient Sun cult

The oldest solar observatory in the Americas has been found, suggesting the existence of early, sophisticated Sun cults, scientists report.
It comprises of a group of 2,300-year-old structures, known as the Thirteen Towers, which are found in the Chankillo archaeological site, Peru.

The towers span the annual rising and setting arcs of the Sun, providing a solar calendar to mark special dates.

The story on the beeb

Aberdeenshire (County)

Digging Dog's Archaeological Find

A dog proved to be a canine Indiana Jones by finding a stone axe head dating back thousands of years in Aberdeenshire.

Rowan the inquisitive black labrador unearthed the Neolithic find at the Drum Estate.

She dropped it on owner Alec Gordon's foot and he took it for examination, with early analysis estimating it as perhaps 6,000 years old.

Mr Gordon said: "I wonder if she knew it was something special."

Mr Gordon was on a woodland walk with his dogs when Rowan made the unusual find.

He told BBC Scotland: "I was walking through the wood and we arrived at a spot where we normally stop. One of them dropped a stone which she'd been carrying.

"I took it back to Drum Castle and saw it had edges".

"I gave it to the local National Trust for Scotland (NTS) archaeologist who almost immediately confirmed that it was Neolithic, 4-6,000 years old, and pretty special."

Experts say the axe head is thousands of years old

Shannon Fraser, regional archaeologist for NTS in the north east of Scotland, said: "I think it's really exciting because we have not had finds from Drum Estate from this period."

She said of Rowan: "I think she should become my honorary assistant".

Mr Duncan said of his dog: "I wonder if she knew it was something special because when she dropped it she dropped it on my foot".

"It's not every day you get an axe dropped on your foot."

City of Edinburgh

Chariot Dated

The 400BC Ferrari

The Iron Age chariot unearthed at an Edinburgh building site has been proved the oldest in Britain.

Radiocarbon tests on the wheels of the chariot have proved it dates back to 400BC - 200 years earlier than the previous oldest British find.

Scientists have just finished studying the remains and it is now being prepared to go on public display, probably at the Museum of Scotland in Chambers Street.

The only other places in Western Europe where similar discoveries have been made are in East Yorkshire and France.

The discovery of the Iron Age chariot - hailed as one of the most important ever made in Scotland - was made near another historic city site.

The chariot is remarkably complete, with surviving parts including its base, two wheels and even the remains of a bridle.

The National Museums of Scotland is carrying out conservation work on the remains so they can go on public display.



Northumberland (County)

Iron Age find at Business Park

Experts have uncovered evidence of Iron Age houses and pottery dating from around 100 BC at a major Tyneside development.

Residents at the Newcastle Great Park (NGP) development are learning about their Iron Age counterparts after the latest archaeological work on the site uncovered evidence of an ancient settlement.

Artefacts, described as being of significant archaeological interest, have been found since the works began over two years ago.

However this latest area to be examined has caused the most excitement.

Senior keeper of field archaeology at Tyne & Wear Museums, Steve Speak, said: "This site, which is south of the new SAGE development, has produced not only pottery, but also so-called Quern Stones, which were used to grind wheat.

"The settlement shows three phases of occupation over a period of about 75 years.

"We know this because our calculations show that a house would last around 25 years before it started to deteriorate and needed to be built again."

Drawings of the site show a large round house about 10 metres in diameter, surrounded by an enclosure which was likely to be used to keep in livestock.

Also featured are the remains of houses from previous phases of occupation along with ditches used for drainage and the disposal of waste.
Tyne and Wear's county archaeologist is currently deciding on the scope of a full excavation of the site.

Mr Speak added: "The good thing about this area is that there has been little or no ploughing over the site which so often wipes out any archaeology under the soil.

"Any artefacts we uncover here should be of good quality and I feel we will get an informed idea of what life was like for the earliest inhabitants of Newcastle Great Park".


For those who often travel up the A1 north of Gosforth, this is right next to the new mounds that look a bit like Silbury...
Previously known as Pebblethief...

Based currently in north Northumberland but soon to be returned to Cumbria.
Area covered by travels includes Scotland and north of England.
Often to be seen wandering aimlessly staring at the ground dragging a large rucksack (contents usually assorted cameras, GPS, batteries, bananas, plastic bags, pebbles).
Favoured habitats are places with plenty of sky and powerful scenery.


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