Latest findings reveal industrial past of medieval Aberdeen

14 March 2013

New details of the buried remains from the medieval backlands of Aberdeen will be revealed at a free illustrated talk at 12.30pm on Wednesday 20 March at Aberdeen Maritime Museum, Shiprow.

Aberdeen is one of a small group of European towns where waterlogged ground conditions have led to the excellent preservation of buried medieval remains, especially organic materials such as wood, leather, textiles, seeds, insect remnants and even egg shells.

Mike Roy, of AOC Archaelogy will give details of the latest results from fieldwork undertaken in 2007 and 2008 by AOC Archaeology prior to the extension of the Bon Accord Centre, near the junction of Upperkirkgate and Gallowgate.

This urban rescue excavation at the junction of these major thoroughfares revealed a sequence of occupation from the 12th century onwards with a series of major artefact finds including an internationally significant collection of leather.

The excavations have revealed aspects of the settlement and economy of the area from the 12th century through to the present day. In particular, the survival of organic materials is remarkable, including over 12,000 leather items and significant assemblages of mammal bone, fish bone and wooden artefacts.

The findings show that from the 12th century through to the 14th century this site was an industrial area where leatherworking activities including shoemaking were undertaken, along with, the dyeing of textiles and metalwork.

Mike Roy of AOC Archaeology said: "Study of the material recovered in the excavation is highlighting the area's medieval development. The talk will illustrate the wonderful range of artefacts and environmental material."

Aberdeen City Council's lead curator [local history and archaeology] Judith Stones, added: "This talk is a superb opportunity to hear first hand about the results of this exciting dig. Experts from AOC Archaeology are nearing the end of the post-excavation analysis and reporting process so there will be many new insights featured in this talk."

Advance booking is required for this 30 minute talk so to reserve a place please telephone (01224) 337714.