Stone Age artefacts discovered during dig at Aberdeen uni

Artefacts dating from as far back as the Stone Age have been uncovered on a site at the University of Aberdeen.

Students from the Department of Archaeology have uncovered a host of items including flints, writing tools, pottery and animal bones.

The group has been excavating a site next to the 15th-century King’s College Chapel in the hope of finding the remains of a former grammar school, which is believed to have been set up there in the 1500s for students wanting to study at the university.

Chris Croly, the university’s project officer for public engagement with research, revealed to the Evening Express that researchers have uncovered artefacts including 18th-century tools for writing, pottery, window glass from the old building and animal bones.

The bones show evidence of human consumption of a variety of animals, such as chickens.

Pieces predating the 18th Century were also found in the soil, including 17th-century tobacco pipes that possibly belonged to school teachers and 13th-century pottery.

Excavating next to the historic chapel of Kings College.jpg

Chris said: “We’re halfway through the excavation and we’ve already uncovered a series of walls from the grammar school. We have also found prehistoric evidence of even before the grammar school.

“We found flint stones that people used in the Stone Age to cut up meat— people who may have been living in the rich valley of the Bridge of Don area.”

Chris’ favourite find is a small key, pictured, which might be for a box, but he also wondered if it could belong to a locked historic book due to its small size.

The dig is leading up to this weekend’s May Festival.

Selection of finds laid out for public inspection.jpg

Those taking part in the excavation have ranged from students of the University of Aberdeen to school pupils from Primary 1 age to Primary 7.

The children had a chance to help in the dig and learn about the history of the old grammar school.

Chris said: “The youngsters have helped with what might have slipped past the archaeologists.”

The dig will be open to the public if they wish to try their hand at some archaeology.

Chris added: “So far, it’s gone really well. You never know what’s going to happen when you break the soil. The investigation doesn’t end at the dig, pieces will get sent away for post-excavation research.”

The site will be open to the public from tomorrow until Sunday from 10am to 4pm and visitors will be able to interact with the archaeologists and learn more about the dig.

For those who are unable to visit or participate, the University of Aberdeen has set up an online stream where the excavation and findings can be viewed.

Chris said: “This is the first time we have live streamed every day from our Facebook page and we’ve had 8,500 people on the first day tuning in!”

For more information about the King’s Dig and to tune into the live stream visit