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24 June 2006
Prehistoric pottery found at Scottish bridge site

Archaeologists have uncovered what they believe is the broadest range of elaborately decorated prehistoric pottery ever found in Scotland, at the site for the new Kincardine Bridge. The discovery shows that large groups of Scotland's first settlers crossed over the River Forth at the site of the new bridge up to 6,000 years ago.
     Excavations have uncovered prehistoric settlements dating from around 4,000BCE, when hunter-gatherers, who previously moved along Scotland's coasts, established the first permanent communities. Other finds included ceremonial and working axes made with stone from the Ochil Hills. The finds demonstrate just how far the River Forth has receded, as the 'highly cultivated' site, which is three-quarters of a mile inland, was once on the waterfront.
     The Scottish Executive commissioned Headland Archaeology to carry out the four-hectare excavation, which finished in April. Trevor Cowie, of the National Museum, said: "This is the first assemblage of such quality and quantity from a settlement. The amount of pottery, the size of fragments and range of decorative techniques is remarkable. It also shows the shores of the Forth have been settled for the best part of 6,000 years." Artefacts removed from the site are currently undergoing analysis.

Source: The Scotsman (20 June 2006)

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