Archaeologists in Scotland have just made what they have called a discovery of “national importance,” after unearthing the surprising remains of a Bronze Age cremation pit in Cupar The cremation pit in question was found to have been built 4,000 years ago after radiocarbon tests were performed at the site.
As the Courier reports, the magnificent discovery came about on the very last day of a community excavation project — one that was formed in a partnership with ARCHAS Cultural Heritage and AKD Archaeology.
According to Alastair Rees of ARCHAS, on the final day of the archaeological dig, curious deposits had been discovered. This led archaeologists straight to a massive pit, one which held a Bronze Age cremation deposit.
“The very last day of the excavation revealed some interesting deposits on the summit of the hill. A large, deep pit was revealed and a small investigative trench was excavated into this feature. At the base of the pit, a small cremation deposit was located.”
Rees explained that as soon as the cremation pit was stumbled upon, archaeologists immediately dated a bone sample that they extracted from the site. Radiocarbon tests revealed that the bone dated back to approximately 1,750 B.C., which would have been during the middle portion of the Bronze Age.
— The Courier (@courier_fife) January 15, 2019
As Rees further noted — while the entire Bronze Age cremation pit in Cupar has not been fully investigated as of yet — it is evident from the remains that were left behind at the site that there will almost certainly be further artifacts, such as bones, scattered near the pit.
“Although only a small part of this large feature was investigated, it is very likely that what was revealed is a Bronze Age cremation pit in the center of Cupar. It is also highly probable that there will be other similar features located close to the pit already identified as these features are often found in small clusters.”
While historians were already aware that the site of the Bronze Age cremation pit in Scotland had been used for medieval ceremonies and assemblies leading up to the 15th century, during the recent excavation it was determined that these medieval councils would have met here much earlier as well. This information came as archaeologists discovered medieval coins and metal objects from the site with a wide range of different dates.
Fife County archaeologist Douglas Speirs has stated that the recent discovery also sheds more light on the much earlier — often prehistoric — origins for many later medieval sites of congregation.
“Prehistoric origins for early medieval places of assembly have long been postulated but to date only a couple of sites have revealed tangible evidence to support this assumption. The discoveries at Cupar add to this growing corpus of evidence and shed new light on our understanding of the very deep history of medieval open air court sites.”
For those interested in learning more about the discovery of the Bronze Age cremation site in Cupar, Scotland, there will be a free seminar hosted about the site on January 31 at 7:30 p.m. at the County Buildings.