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Archaeologists uncover ancient settlement at Cruden Bay

By David Porter

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Work which started back in 2017 at Cruden Bay by an archaeology team has seen confirmation this week of at least 23 structures which could relate as far back as the iron age.

Settlement finds at Cruden Bay date back to the Iron Age
Settlement finds at Cruden Bay date back to the Iron Age

Cameron Archaeology began work on the site owned by Claymore Homes for the construction of new properties with a total of 78 trenches excavated, which indentified a number of probable prehistoric features to the western side of the site.

Ongoing work has seen at least 23 structures and other several other possible features identified along with prehistoric pottery and flint tools.

Leading the work is Ali Cameron who has also been behind efforts to find the lost Monastery of Deer.

Settlement finds at Cruden Bay date back to the Iron Age
Settlement finds at Cruden Bay date back to the Iron Age

She said: “The find of such a large settlement was very exciting.

“The settlement is probably late prehistoric in date, and it’s likely to be Iron Age from around 800BC to 400AD, but we will have to wait until the samples have been studied by Aberdeen University’s archaeology department and organic material recovered has been dated to know for certain.

“The stone tools are being studied by lithics specialist Ann Clarke, near Edinburgh, and she has just provided us with a preliminary report.

“Claymore Homes have been fully supportive during all the archaeological works and, as is required on developments of this type, they have paid for the excavation and are currently paying for all the analysis of finds, processing of samples and a report in an archaeological journal.”

Cruden Bay's hertigate spreads back over many years and includes a noted Viking battle in 1012 which was celebrated with a ceremonial boat burning back in 2012.

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