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27 February 2004
Archaeologists uncover Ayrshire village ancient history

A village in Ayrshire has discovered that it could be the oldest continuously-occupied settlement in Scotland, dating back 5,500 years. Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of stone age houses in the middle of Dreghorn, near Irvine. They found evidence of occupation since 3500 BCE, through the Bronze Age to the medieval period. Archaeologist Tom Addyman said: "People have always lived here, and have wanted to live here. Can't think of any other site that has that depth and layering of occupation."
     The settlement has been found on the site of a modern housing development. Building work has been halted to allow the archaeologists to dig. They have made several intriguing finds. Project supervisor Tom Wilson said: "It appears to be quite a large monument, like a standing stone, or some kind of totem pole, if you will, set up towards the centre of the settlement. That is an unusual thing to find in a settlement like this."
     Pre-historian Mike Donnelly said: "What we found here looks like a prehistoric pottery kiln, which would be very unusual for mainland Scotland, it would certainly be the first for mainland Scotland."

Source: Scotland Today (27 February 2004)

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