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4 February 2004
Details of ancient burial site in Scotland

An Ancient burial site, which was unearthed by workers preparing land for a massive gas pipeline, has proved to be a mine of information about Scottish people of the Bronze Age. Archaeologists at the 3,500-year-old cemetery, found in a field near Auchnagatt (Aberdeenshire), say the discovery also reveals important clues about ancient burial rituals in the north-east. They are analysing pottery urns, containing cremated human remains.
     The Bronze Age graveyard was found in the summer of 2001 on the route of a major Transco pipeline development from St Fergus to near Aberdeen. The find was the first of its kind in Aberdeenshire for more than 30 years.
     Melanie Johnson, field officer at CFA Archaeology, said: "The cemetery consisted of almost 40 pits containing cremations, 11 of which were contained inside pottery urns," she said. "The site was unusually well-preserved." A number of cremations have now been dated, using the latest advances in radiocarbon dating of human bones. Ms Johnson said: "This shows the cemetery was in use from about 1900 BCE to 1600 BCE. "The urns are currently being conserved at Aberdeen's Marischal Museum, while analysis of the cremated human bones will reveal all sorts about the person who died, including their sex, age and whether they were in good health."

Source: Aberdeen Press & Journal (15 January 2004)

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