Surprise discovery of ancient artefacts rewrites early Scottish history

Roman remains found during a multi-million pound construction project could rewrite early Scottish history.

Evidence of human habitation going back more than 15,000 years have been discovered in Aberdeenshire.

Archaeologist Julie Lochrie explains the early Scottish history discoveries from Aberdeen bypass site to Cabinet Secretary Keith Brown

Julie Lochrie Headland Archaeology Finds Specialist and Cab Sec Keith Brown

Archaeologists digging on the site of the new bypass around Scotland’s third largest city have been excited by the unearthing of Mesolithic pits, Roman bread ovens, prehistoric roundhouses and an ancient cremation complex.

“There has been a range of fascinating discoveries from the archaeological works carried out on site. Some raise more questions than they answer about what we thought we knew about the north east,” said Bruce Mann, Archaeologist for Aberdeenshire Council and Aberdeen City Council.

One unexpected find was of 90 bread ovens dating from around 83/84 AD which were probably constructed by the Roman army during the invasion by the celebrated Roman General Agricola.

Experts also uncovered items going even further back into the mists of time. These artefacts, dating from between 13,000 and 10,000 BC, push back current understanding of early Scottish history and human activity in north east Scotland in particular by several thousand years.

Many of the finds have been credited with providing a new understanding of how the first ‘Aberdonians’ lived and serve to highlight just how rich the entire area is in history.

“These archaeological finds provide real insight into the history and culture of the north east. They are impressive in both in time depth and range of activities represented. They push back known human activity in the region by at least 2,000 years, add new detail to how our ancestors lived and died, and reveal a new dimension to Rome’s invasions of Scotland,” said Mr Mann.

A full report with photographs and further details of the discoveries can be found in Issue 15 of Scotland Correspondent magazine.

  • Full feature in Issue No.15

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