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12 February 2015
Bronze Age body found near Loch Ness

Following the discovery of an early Bronze Age burial cist in Drumnadrochit, on the west shore of Loch Ness (Highland, Scotland), archaeologists have found shards of pottery and a wrist guard on the same site. The earliest-known resident, who lived around 4500 years ago, wore a stone guard on his wrist when using a bow and arrow and favoured geometric designs on his kitchenware.
     The cist and artefacts were uncovered during works preparing the site of the NHS Highland's replacement Drumnadrochit Health Centre. Heather Cameron, senior project manager with the health board, said: "We are particularly excited to have uncovered the pottery and wrist guard in what appeared to be a second grave next to the first, and I think we will be looking to mount a display on the finds somewhere in the new building when it opens at the end of the year."
     Mary Peteranna, of AOC Archaeology Group, said: "The shards are of around two-thirds of a beaker pot which will probably have been around 20-30cm high. What makes them particularly interesting is that there is some organic material adhering to the base of the pot, so we may find out something about its contents. The shards have a distinctive decoration which may have been made on the clay before firing in a stabbing movement with something like a feather quill. The wrist guard is also particularly exciting. It has holes so that it could be tied to the wrist with a leather strap, and may have been ornamental or functional."
     The skeletal remains, which may be of an adult or near adult, comprise of most of a person's long bones along with part of the skull and a number of teeth. It is hoped to be able to determine scientifically the sex of the person, and perhaps even the cause of death.
     Archaeologists have investigated a 4m x 4m area on the site, which lies just off the A82. It is not planned at this stage to carry out further archaeological work there. However, with more construction work planned on the other side of the main road, where houses and retail units are to be built, further finds have not been ruled out.

Edited from The Inverness Courier (3 February 2015)

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