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4000-year-old artefact set for return

By Kyle Ritchie

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The 4000-year-old Troup Beaker is set to return to the Gamrie area where it was discovered nearly 40 years ago.

To mark the anniversary of its discovery, Neil Curtis FMA, head of museums and special collections at Aberdeen University will be bringing the artefact back to the area for one day.

He will present an evening talk on the background of the beaker, and also the Beaker people that arrived in Scotland at that time and whose presence is still very much with the country today.

The Troup Beaker will to return to the area as part of a special presentation.
The Troup Beaker will to return to the area as part of a special presentation.

Back in 1980, during an archaeological dig at Chapelden in the Tore of Troup, five miles outside of Gardenstown, a remarkable discovery was made.

A clay vessel more than 4000 years old was unearthed, not in fragments as might be expected, but entirely intact. The vessel was a patterned beaker, a much cherished possession.

Phil Lawson, secretary of the Gardenstown Community Hub Association said: "Over the last 40 years, much more information has come to be known about its creators.

"Archaeological research has confirmed that something dramatic happened between 2500 and 2000 BC within what is now the British Isles.

"It appears that a wave of fair-skinned and distinctively round headed immigrants arrived, particularly to north-east Scotland completely displacing the existing darker-skinned population.

"These people were buried with their distinctive Beaker pottery, seem to have introduced metal-working for the first time, and were responsible for building the region’s distinctive recumbent stone circles."

Recent genetic research has revealed that the ancestors of these fair-skinned people lay in central Europe and further east to the Russian Steppes, and it is these Beaker people who are the ancestors of most people from the north-east today.

The pre-Beaker people that they displaced may have disappeared but not from the landscape of northern Scotland as they left behind such familiar and monuments as Skara Brae, the Stones of Stenness and Calanais Stone Circle.

A lot has happened over the millennia since then but there is a fascinating story to be told of how this vast migration of people affected the area now known as Buchan.

Mr Lawson added: "The Gardenstown Community Hub is delighted to host an audio-visual presentation from Neil Curtis FMA.Neil is head of museums and special collections at the University of Aberdeen .

"The evening will see the Troup beaker coming back to the area where it was used and lay hidden for millennia, alongside other prehistoric items from the museum collections of the University of Aberdeen.

"Mr Curtis will also present some of the stories of a time that saw Buchan become one of the most dynamic areas of Scotland, with links to Ireland, England and the Netherlands."

The presentation takes place at Gardenstown Community Hub on Friday, May 31. The hub is halfway along High Street.

Parking is available on Gamrie Brae since High Street is a private road accessed just south of the Main Street.

Doors open at 7pm, with the talk beginning at 7.30pm followed by a question and answer session.

Entry is £2 and teas and coffees will be served afterwards.

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