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Archaeo News 

20 May 2007
Iron Age ditches discovered at Edinburgh Castle

Archaeologists have discovered traces of ancient remains at Edinburgh Castle (Scotland) during preparation work for the construction of a new visitor centre. Experts said borehole samples revealed debris dating from before the Iron Age, more than 2,000 years ago.
     Peter Yeoman, senior archaeologist at Historic Scotland, said: "The results from the archaeological boring were really surprising as this technique rarely produces detailed dating evidence. We can now be certain that the front of the Castle was encircled by a pair of massive ditches dating as far back as the Iron Age, 2000 years ago. Each ditch was about 12 metres wide and six metres deep and they were slowly filled in with soil and other debris throughout history."
     A special drilling rig was used to recover the samples, which were taken to Headland Archaeology's laboratory in Leith. Headland's environmental archaeologists were then able to recover dateable pottery fragments and food debris. Chris Watkins, head of major projects at Historic Scotland, said: "Most of the underground work on the project, including the 26m deep piles to support the new terrace, is now complete and we are progressing with the building of new stonework". Previous archeological excavations at the Castle have found remains dating back as far as the late Bronze Age from around 900 BCE.

Sources: BBC News, Scotsman (19 May 2007)

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