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17 October 2004
Scottish dig throws light on early settlers

Archaeologists have uncovered evidence of the first early settlers in Aberdeenshire (Scotland) during an 11-day excavation near Kintore. A Mesolithic, or Middle Stone-Age site, dating back around 8,000 years, was unearthed on the outskirts of the village.
      Kintore has already revealed historically valuable finds, including a timber circle thought to date back 6,000 years, and evidence of a roundhouse. Experts now hope their latest discovery will help them piece together a history of the area - something which, at the moment, does not exist.
     Speaking on the penultimate day of the excavation yesterday, Murray Cook, of Edinburgh-based AOC Archaeology, said: "It is very exciting. We knew there was a cairn on this site but we have now found charcoal underneath it which we will be able to date. But we didn't know the Mesolithic site was here."
     Mr Cook, who was joined by his colleague Lindsay Dunbar and 13 volunteers, now plans to revisit some of the sites the group has uncovered over the last fortnight, to unearth more secrets next year. He said: "There is more Neolithic pottery at Kintore than anywhere else in Aberdeenshire put together. There are more roundhouses there than any other part of Scotland."

Sources: The Press and Journal, This is North Scotland (14 October 2004)

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