|25 August 2006
Visit a prehistoric site at Moray
A view of life in Moray (Scotland) more than 2,000 years ago is to be unveiled by archaeologists who have spent the summer digging into the area's rich history. Unprecedented access to a prehistoric settlement at Birnie will be on offer this Sunday and visitors will have the chance to tour the site and meet archaeological experts from the National Museum of Scotland.
Site director Fraser Hunter said more evidence had been found this summer to suggest the site was of great importance to the area. He said: "Although today it just looks like a grassy field, if you were here two of three thousand years ago you would have to imagine a number of huge round houses - these are not barbarians living in squalid little huts. Around them would be a whole huddle of activity such as farming, bronze and iron working. This was really the place to be in Moray."
Work at the site has been sponsored by the National Museum of Scotland, Historic Scotland and local businesses. Mr Hunter said more historical gems had been found over the past month. He said: "We have found two more round houses where we simply didn't expect to see anything, so we now know the site's bigger than we thought. We also found our first evidence of iron working and a range of other interesting artefacts such as a couple of really nice pins - again indicating these were people of importance who wore flashy jewellery." Team members have also found evidence the site could have been of importance up to 3,000 years ago - with the discovery of a bronze broach depicting a snarling dragon.
The free open day will run from 10am to 4pm, with adult tours at 10am, noon, 2pm and 4pm. Tours for children will take place at 11am, 1pm and 3pm and there will be drop-in activities all day. Maps showing how to get to the Birnie site are available by contacting Elgin Museum on 01343 543675.
Sources: The Press and Journal, This is North Scotland (23 August 2006)
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