Archaeologists from an Aberdeen university have unearthed artefacts dating back more than 1,000 years.
Staff from the University of Aberdeen have been digging at Burghead Fort, near Lossiemouth, where treasures including a 1,100-year-old Anglo Saxon coin and the remnants of a Pictish building have been discovered.
The Picts lived in eastern and northern Scotland during the late Iron Age and early medieval periods.
Experts believe Burghead was a significant seat of power within the Pictish Kingdom, dating between 500 AD and 1000 AD.
The university began the dig in 2015 and it is revealing exciting clues about the Picts’ environment.
The team uncovered a Pictish longhouse in the fort. Within the floor layers of the building, an Anglo Saxon coin of Alfred the Great was discovered, providing key dating evidence for the use of the house and fort.
The coin dates back to the late ninth century when Viking raiders and settlers were leading to major changes within Pictish society.
Dr Gordon Noble, senior lecturer at the University of Aberdeen, said: “The assumption has always been that there was nothing left at Burghead, that it was all trashed in the 19th Century but nobody’s really looked at the interior to see if there’s anything that survives inside the fort.
“But beneath the 19th-century debris, we have started to find significant Pictish remains. We appear to have found a Pictish longhouse.
“The coin is also interesting as it shows that the fort occupants were able to tap into long-distance trade networks.
“The coin is also pierced, perhaps for wearing; it shows that the occupants of the fort in this non-monetary economy literally wore their wealth.”
The dig has been carried out in conjunction with the Burghead Headland Trust, with support from Aberdeenshire Council Archaeology Service.
Bruce Mann, archaeologist for Aberdeenshire Council Archaeology Service, said: “The fact that we have surviving buildings and floor levels from this date is just incredible and the university’s work is shedding light on what is too often mistakenly called the ‘Dark Ages’.”