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Discovery Of Ancient Site Stuns Experts (Scotland)
Edinburgh News.com ^ | 8-1-2003 | Michael Howe

Posted on 08/02/2003 4:40:29 PM PDT by blam

Discovery of ancient site stuns experts

MICHAEL HOWIE

PREHISTORIC remains hailed by experts as one of Scotland’s most significant archaeological finds in 50 years have been unearthed in the path of a major road development.

Scores of pots, tools and ceremonial items dating back 7000 years have been unearthed where work is being carried out to create a dual-carriageway between Haddington and Dunbar.

Ancient burial sites and neolithic settlements have also been uncovered.

The discovery has stunned experts who say it is one of the biggest and most important finds in recent years.

Archaeologists have yet to analyse the many items uncovered along the 11-mile stretch but are already predicting it will tell them much about early civilisation in the Lothians region.

They say the sheer volume of material confirms the existence of thriving communities which survived on the fertile farmland of East Lothian for thousands of years.

A major conference will be held next month to discuss the results. The £500,000 dig has been funded by Historic Scotland, which says it is "surprised and delighted" at the results of the excavations, carried out by a team of archaeologists from Glasgow University.

Team leader John Atkinson said: "In a rich farming area like East Lothian we expected to find quite a lot, but we were taken aback by the sheer volume of what we discovered. It is absolutely priceless."

Twelve individual sites were uncovered by the team of 30 archaeological staff, who worked up to five months ahead of the army of bulldozers which cleared the way for extra lanes on the A1.

Among the most stunning finds was a burial cairn at Ewford, near Dunbar. A copper alloy pike, used for ceremonial occasions was also found together with funeral urns thought to be 3500 years old. Elsewhere, remains of a prehistoric burial ground were found on Pencraig Hill, overlooking Traprain Law.

But the most exciting and unexpected find was evidence of a previously unknown settlement at Phantassie, near East Linton. The remains of around a dozen buildings and linking pathways constructed entirely of rock were discovered along with hundreds of small pieces of pottery.

Mr Atkinson said they found evidence of both burial and cremation. He said it was also possible their discoveries suggested excarnation - where the bodies of the dead are left for animals to eat and their skeleton later buried - had taken place.

He said dating of the recovered items would tell whether the ancient fort on Traprain Law was built before, or after, the surrounding settlements.

The discoveries also supported the theory that a clear class system existed in prehistoric times.

"We found large ceremonial cairns which had grave goods with them, suggesting they were for people with a reasonably high status in society. In other sites, like Phantassie, you see signs of every day, subsistence life, in the Iron Age."

Mr Atkinson added: "As a group it certainly qualifies as one of the most important finds in Scotland in the last 50 years."

Dr Gavin MacGregor, who directed the Ewfort dig, added: "It’s a very important piece of work for us. Nationally important sites have been discovered and it’s a great success for the all the parties concerned."

A spokeswoman for Historic Scotland said: "We are surprised and delighted by the quality of the archaeology.

"It is going to enhance our knowledge of early people in the Lothians very significantly. And that is a huge benefit to understanding of the rest of early Scotland too."

In 2000, the Scottish Executive pledged £50 million for upgrading the A1 to dual carriageway status, following years of campaigning by road-safety organisations and MPs.

The Haddington-Dunbar stretch is due to be completed next year.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: ancient; archaeology; discovery; experts; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; scotland; site; stuns

1 posted on 08/02/2003 4:40:30 PM PDT by blam
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To: farmfriend
ping (No GGG)
2 posted on 08/02/2003 4:40:59 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
Fossilized Haggis FOUND!
3 posted on 08/02/2003 4:43:46 PM PDT by tet68
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To: tet68
probably tastes the same as 1 hr old Haggis......
4 posted on 08/02/2003 4:46:59 PM PDT by bets
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To: blam
Excarnation, now there's an idea....

Rather than the flesh be consumed by worms, let it be devoured by the jackal and the vulture - at least it's higher up on the food chain....

5 posted on 08/02/2003 5:05:39 PM PDT by StatesEnemy
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To: blam
But the most exciting and unexpected find was evidence of a previously unknown settlement at Phantassie, near East Linton.

Phantastic. And to think we owe this discovery to the predations of modern man and his technology.
6 posted on 08/02/2003 5:09:27 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: bets
It needs a highway of A1 to make it edible.
7 posted on 08/02/2003 5:19:32 PM PDT by JerseyHighlander
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To: aruanan
Phantassie

Isn't that the town Kipling wrote about?

"The town that voted the world was flat."

Hehe. Great story by the way.
8 posted on 08/02/2003 5:21:34 PM PDT by tet68
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To: tet68
One wonders..........where do all the "STUNNED EXPERTS" go??
Do they just shake it off over time, or is there counseling?
Group Hugs?
9 posted on 08/02/2003 5:23:49 PM PDT by tet68
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To: blam
I don't know how you keep coming up with these interesting posts, but please don't stop.
10 posted on 08/02/2003 5:29:46 PM PDT by curmudgeonII
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To: blam
... a dual-carriageway ...

Pardon me PLEASE but I cannot resist the following; Exactly how many carriages will be using this dual-carriageway? As has been stated many times elsewhere, Anglish is not quite Amglish is not quite Auglish is not quite Canglish etc. Mr.Carlin has long since twitted us on our habit of parking in driveways and driving on parkways but still I smile when I think of a lorry with a bonnet on a dual-carriageway!

11 posted on 08/02/2003 5:47:33 PM PDT by SES1066
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To: blam
excarnation. . .what Uday and Qusay deserved.

As for the 'have's and have-nots' of this ancient society; the 'wheel of life' continues to turn. . .

Wonder if they had Liberals back then. . .suspect not!

12 posted on 08/02/2003 6:02:38 PM PDT by cricket
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To: curmudgeonII
"I don't know how you keep coming up with these interesting posts, but please don't stop."

Thanks. Here's another for today:

Ancient Cities Discovered in Yangtze Valley

13 posted on 08/02/2003 6:03:56 PM PDT by blam
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To: bets; tet68
I LIKE haggis...

prisoner6

14 posted on 08/02/2003 6:08:59 PM PDT by prisoner6 ( Right Wing Nuts hold the country together as the loose screws of the left fall out!)
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To: blam
"are already predicting it will tell them much about early civilisation in the Lothians region."

aka . . . Lothar of the Hill People. (SNL)
15 posted on 08/02/2003 6:14:24 PM PDT by Highway55 (The "Silent Majority" is silent no more.)
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To: blam
OOps, didn't see the No in time, sorry.
16 posted on 08/02/2003 6:28:53 PM PDT by farmfriend ( Isaiah 55:10,11)
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To: prisoner6
LIKE haggis...

So do I -- especially when it's been "blessed" with a splash of Drambuie... And I also enjoy the ceremony -- at the annual Robbie Burns dinner with our (Macpherson) clansmen.

17 posted on 08/02/2003 7:12:45 PM PDT by TXnMA (No Longer!!! -- and glad to be back home in God's Gountry!!)
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To: TXnMA; prisoner6
ilike haggis...

You guys are disgusting.

Lochiel MacEdward na sliabh dun na cloinn MacEdward...

18 posted on 08/02/2003 7:24:12 PM PDT by patton (I wish we could all look at the evil of abortion with the pure, honest heart of a child.)
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To: blam
The ancient recipe for haggis was immediately classified 'top secret'.
19 posted on 08/02/2003 7:26:03 PM PDT by LibKill (The sacred word, TANSTAAFL.)
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To: blam
A copper alloy pike, used for ceremonial occasions was also found together with funeral urns thought to be 3500 years old.

As I recommended in a recent thread, you should read Lawrence Keeley's War Before Civilization (you can read the preface on Amazon.com for free, I think). He talks about how the myth of a peaceful prehistory has led archaeologists to call many weapons found in burrials "ceremonial" even if they are quite functional as weapons. If the Moche hadn't left their carnage behind for the archaeologists, I have little doubt that they'd be calling the human sacrifices depicted on their pottery as "symbolic" and the actual knives and weapons used, which they have actually found, "ceremonial".

20 posted on 08/02/2003 8:28:32 PM PDT by Question_Assumptions
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To: SES1066
“Dual Carriageway” = limited-access divided highway = Interstate/Autobahn, more or less.
21 posted on 08/02/2003 8:31:03 PM PDT by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: Question_Assumptions
"He talks about how the myth of a peaceful prehistory has led archaeologists to call many weapons found in burrials "ceremonial" even if they are quite functional as weapons."

Very interesting comment to a very interesting post.

And Long Live Robbie Burns!
22 posted on 08/02/2003 9:22:07 PM PDT by jocon307
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To: prisoner6
how could they tell the difference between the petrified haggis and the pottery shards?
23 posted on 08/03/2003 3:06:52 PM PDT by bets
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To: blam; FairOpinion; Ernest_at_the_Beach; StayAt HomeMother; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; ...
Never got pinged.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest
-- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

24 posted on 05/18/2005 11:22:56 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (FR profiled updated Tuesday, May 10, 2005. Fewer graphics, faster loading.)
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To: prisoner6

Haggis rules.


25 posted on 05/18/2005 11:37:57 AM PDT by T. Buzzard Trueblood ("Bush is doing practically nothing to prevent hurricanes..." Environmentalist Aimee Christensen)
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To: tet68

They get grants for new beebers.


26 posted on 05/18/2005 12:38:01 PM PDT by BenLurkin (O beautiful for patriot dream - that sees beyond the years)
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To: blam

And where did they hide the Scottish whiskey? Would love a sip of the nectar from then. (:>)


27 posted on 05/18/2005 2:05:05 PM PDT by Ursus arctos horribilis ("It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!" Emiliano Zapata 1879-1919)
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To: SES1066

Since they still call them motor carriages, many many will use it. Will this turn the A1 into an M ? From my experience there in 2000 the A roads were 2 lanes while the M roads were 4+ lanes.


28 posted on 05/18/2005 7:50:11 PM PDT by AntiBurr (Hillary: "The Female of the Species is more deadly than the male."--Kipling)
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To: tet68

What I want to know is if they found any really cherry Bay City Rollers eight track tapes. That would rock!


29 posted on 05/18/2005 7:57:33 PM PDT by Right Angler
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To: sionnsar

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic · subscribe ·

 
Gods
Graves
Glyphs
From 2005. Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

·Dogpile · Archaeologica · Mirabilis.ca · LiveScience · Archaeology · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
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30 posted on 06/13/2010 3:14:32 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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To: Tainan; mstar; Twotone; Knitting A Conundrum; ThanhPhero; Julia H.; DuncanWaring; snuffy smiff; ...
Thanks to SunkenCiv for the ping!
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Pipes and Drums of FreeRepublic ping!

This is an ultra-low-volume ping list (typically weeks to months between pings, for matters related to Highland bagpipes and Scotland).
FReepmail sionnsar if you want on or off this list.

Going to the Games? Organize a Clan FReeper get-together!

31 posted on 06/13/2010 5:44:04 PM PDT by sionnsar (IranAzadi|5yst3m 0wn3d-it's N0t Y0ur5:SONY|Remember Neda Agha-Soltan|TV--it's NOT news you can trust)
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To: blam
......upgrading the A1 to dual carriageway status, following years of campaigning by road-safety organisations and MPs.

I drove that road once, in 1995. Dangerously busy, even then. A pair of lorry drivers tried to run me off the road.

32 posted on 06/13/2010 6:21:11 PM PDT by jimtorr
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To: SunkenCiv
"From 2005."

How about, 2003?

33 posted on 06/13/2010 6:23:58 PM PDT by blam
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To: sionnsar; Puritan Idelette

Ping to post 31 and sionnsar’s Scotland ping list which you might be interested in joining. 8~)

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/957191/posts?page=31#31


34 posted on 06/13/2010 6:40:37 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: blam

In that case, the site was only 6998 years old.


35 posted on 06/13/2010 7:18:07 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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To: blam

Does this mean all work on the road they were digging is halted? Bet the union guys are mad, heheh.

Wish we could see some pictures of whatever they’ve found so far, I tried the link but it wouldn’t display the article, though the site came up.


36 posted on 06/13/2010 8:42:22 PM PDT by Beowulf9
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To: Beowulf9
IIRC, when the Athena of Piraeus was partially uncovered by a crew working on a sewer line, the crew tried to bulldoze it quickly so the archeologists wouldn't stop their job. Fortunately, they were discovered.

Here is part of the statue:


37 posted on 06/13/2010 8:56:58 PM PDT by Richard Kimball (We're all criminals. They just haven't figured out what some of us have done yet.)
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To: Question_Assumptions

Agreed. Back then, if a man wandered too far from home, he was cut down or enslaved. Thats the way it was in all likelihood.


38 posted on 06/13/2010 9:32:14 PM PDT by Candor7 (Obama .......yes.......is a fascist... ...He meets every diagnostic of history)
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To: Richard Kimball

Stunning! Imagine, bulldozing such a beautiful historical find for a flat...gray...dull...road.


39 posted on 06/13/2010 9:48:57 PM PDT by Beowulf9
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