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Archaeological dig being carried out at Bennachie site

By Kyle Ritchie

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The conservation charity, the Bailies of Bennachie, are carrying out an eight-week long archaeological dig in an exciting site on the lower slopes of Bennachie.

About 10 people are working for two days a week on the site during July and August.

It is the third year that a dig has taken place in this area and a picture is beginning to emerge of the people who have lived there over the centuries.

People are working on the dig site during July and August.
People are working on the dig site during July and August.

Vice-chairwoman of the Bailies, Ann Bailie said: “The excavations are taking place on what appears to be a late medieval building located on top of an apparent Neolithic/Bronze Age mound.

"The most exciting find last year was a possible Neolithic incised stone with concentric circles and it is hoped this year’s efforts will find similar success.

“Other parts of these excavations have found a charcoal sample of alder wood dating to the Iron Age – we hope to find out what this structure may have been and if there is more Iron Age material surviving.

"This area has been occupied for many generations and we are building up a picture of what these mounds of earth mean.

“Pollen samples have been taken from the soil at part of the site. These will be analysed by the University of Aberdeen and will give some idea of what crops were grown in the vicinity over the centuries.

"This can also be compared with a previous peat sample that was done by the university on top of Bennachie.”

It is hoped that some artefacts found at the site will be displayed at the Bennachie Visitor Centre later this year.

The Bailies would like to thank MacDonald Hotels for permission to carry out these excavations.

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