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20 September 2004
Archaeologists find earlier evidence of life in Pertshire glen

Archaeologists have uncovered evidence 'potentially of national significance' in a remote Perthshire glen (Scotland). Carbon dating of material from Bunrannoch, has revealed activity there during the Dark Ages in structures previously thought to be medieval.
     The breakthrough is the latest stage of a project run by GUARD—Glasgow University Archaeological Research Division—who spent summers from 1999 to 2001 digging a few miles from Kinloch Rannoch. Their work concentrated on a field containing evidence of several phases of settlement. They excavated two 'criel' houses, a type of long houses, and what appeared to be a larger homestead. Before their work, the area was thought to have been inhabited from medieval times, and—based on local stories—to have been abandoned in the mid-18th century following a reprisal burning after the Jacobite rebellion. However, the experts discovered the destruction is likely to have taken place at least a full thousand years earlier.
     Dr Gavin MacGregor of GUARD said "It was thought by Dr Margaret Stewart, a local archaeologist who worked there in the 1950s and 60s, that it was a medieval settlement. We were very pleasantly surprised to get the carbon dates relating to the criel houses and the circular homestead. It appears that people were living in the long houses far earlier and there is evidence of metalworking in the homestead at the same time the houses were occupied.
     The archaeologists are also convinced that other evidence on the site shows occupation during the bronze age—as long as 3500 years ago.

Source: The Courier (15 September 2004)

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