Bennachie dig uncovers early finds

Volunteers are welcome to help with the excavations. Work starts at 10am and continues until 4.30pm. Contact info@bailiesofbennachie.co.uk.
Volunteers are welcome to help with the excavations. Work starts at 10am and continues until 4.30pm. Contact info@bailiesofbennachie.co.uk.

The first few weeks of a new programme of fieldwork and excavation on Bennachie suggest a rich area of archaeology where people may have lived for centuries.

Volunteers from the Bennachie Landscapes Group are undertaking the work in an area off the turnpike track that runs from the Rowntree car park to the Bennachie Centre.

The site is in the grounds of the Pittodrie House Hotel and is taking place following permission from Macdonald Hotels, who own the estate.

Iain Ralston, of the Landscape Group, a joint project involving the Bailies of Bennachie and the University of Aberdeen, said: “We have opened up three trenches so far all showing promising signs of good archaeology present.

“Trenches one and three in particular are revealing very substantial walls to buildings and we have recovered parts of glass and

earthenware.”

He added: “The evidence is that people lived here over many generations and I expect that we will find earlier material once we start going down into the earlier layers.

“It seems this area had several buildings and a road going through it. We don’t know when people moved here or why they moved out. “The ordnance survey map of 1866 doesn’t show buildings here so people had moved away by then.

“A slightly earlier map (Robertson 1822) suggests farms in the vicinity and a rental of Pittodrie Estate about 1771 indicates a number of farmsteads.”

As the area is part of the Pittodrie House Estate, it has lain undisturbed under vegetation until now, when the team hope to find clues to who lived there and when.

Volunteers are welcome to help with the excavations. Work starts at 10am and continues until 4.30pm. Contact info@bailiesofbennachie.co.uk.