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20 November 2010
Ancient structure unearthed near Glasgow

Last week contractors working in the grounds of the former Woodilee Hospital, between Kirkintilloch and Lenzie (East Dunbartonshire, Scotland), unearthed what is thought to be a wooden roundhouse dating back thousands of years. Don Martin, former assistant manager of information and archives at East Dunbartonshire Council, has his own ideas about the remains. "The building is clearly a native dwelling house, with remains of a kind sometimes referred to as a 'hut circle'. Such hut circles are found all over the country, and vary greatly in size. Sometimes the walls are of timber, as is the case here, and sometimes of stone," Mr Martin said.
     Experts from Glasgow University Archaeological Research Division (GUARD) have visited the site. Dr Gavin McGregor, project manager at Glasgow University Archaeological Research Division (GUARD), said: "The date of the structure is unclear at this stage, but it potentially dates some time from the second millennium BCE to the first few centuries CE. Notably, the site is relatively close to the Antonine Wall. If the structure proves to date to the mid to later second century CE, it may be contemporary with the Roman presence in the area."
     Mr Martin said: "Given what GUARD have said, it belongs either to the Bronze Age or the Iron Age period, and most probably the Iron Age. "In this connection there is an Iron Age fort in the Campsies, at Meikle Reive, above Lennoxtown. It is likely that the Romans encountered Iron Age people when they arrived in this area." Meikle Reive is thought to have been built in the first century CE, predating the nearby Roman-built Antonine Wall, which was started in 142 CE.
     Mr Martin hopes that the latest find will be retained for future generations to learn a little more about the history of East Dunbartonshire. He said: "I don't know what the effect on building work at Woodilee will be, but I know of a number of places where archaeological features have been retained as focal points within modern housing developments."

Edited from Kirkintilloch Herald (16 November 2010)

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