Tunnel site in Scotland between rock and a tarred placeBreaking News
The rough rock, which stands 4ft high, dates back more than a thousand years - and may be the final resting place of an ancient tribal princess, Vetta.
Vetta is thought to have been an important woman among the Votadini, a British tribe who inhabited West Lothian. Their language and customs were closely related to the Welsh tribes, who lived around 1500 years ago.
The ancient stone marks a burial site which is set to be excavated as part of the £500 million project to build a rail link to the airport.
The railway tunnel which would be built as part of the link would pass through the edges of the burial ground.
Archaeologists - who fear work on the site could destroy some of the remains - have been given permission to excavate the site before the mechanical diggers move in.
As part of the work, it is thought the rock itself is likely to be removed and put on display to the public, possibly at one of Edinburgh's museums.
The land around the rock is believed to have been used as a burial ground for thousands of years from the earliest times people lived in the area.
Archaeologists hope the opportunity to explore the site will offer a fascinating insight into the Capital's ancient history.
The burial ground was excavated around 30 years ago, but it is thought modern technology will allow far more evidence to be unearthed.
Transport Initiatives Edinburgh (TIE) - the council-owned company behind the airport rail link plans - has agreed to the excavation going ahead before any work starts on the tunnel.
Work on the rail link is expected to start early next year, provided the project receives the backing of MSPs later this year.
Susan Clark, project director for the Edinburgh Airport Rail Link (EARL) project, said: "Agreement has been reached with Historic Scotland to carry out whatever excavation of the Cat Stane is deemed necessary.
"TIE has worked closely with Historic Scotland to ensure that the Cat Stane is treated appropriately and that the archaeological work can be conducted.
"The construction work for EARL has necessitated the excavation of the Cat Stane, which has long been inaccessible to archaeologists as it has been part of the airport. My team and I are delighted to be able to help in the excavation of this valuable piece of local history, and we look forward to seeing what Historic Scotland unearths in its work."
On the south bank of the River Almond, the small stone memorial, is the only visible element of the ancient burial site. There has been no public access to the rock for years, because it lies within the airport boundary.
A Historic Scotland spokeswoman said: "We have worked closely with TIE to identify the best solution to securing the future conservation and investigation of the Cat Stane and associated long cists which all lie within the scheduled area."
comments powered by Disqus
- Trump Holds Wide Lead in South Carolina
- An All-or-Nothing Fight for the Supreme Court
- Did Trump Really Lose the Debate?
- Scalia’s Death Sets Off Epic Battle
- Democrats See Gift in GOP Blocking Court Nominee
- Quote of the Day
- The Nastiest GOP Debate
- Reaction to the Republican Debate
- The GOP Presidential Debate
- How Clinton Could Respond on Supreme Court Vacancy
- Trump and Clinton Way Ahead in South Carolina
- McConnell Says Senate Will Wait to Replace Scalia
- Antonin Scalia Is Dead
- Clinton Says Sanders Would Be Threat to Obama Legacy
- Internal Tracker Shows Trump Leading in South Carolina
- Ben Carson used an apparently fake Joseph Stalin quote — and the Internet loved it
- Rubio exaggerates in saying it's been 80 years since a 'lame duck' made a Supreme Court nomination
- Humans Hard-Wired to Teach, Anthropologist Says
- Parents outraged after students shown ‘white guilt’ cartoon for Black History Month
- Maryland is once again considering retiring its state song
- Historian at the center of Sanders-Clinton debate
- James Loewen Says Additional Baltimore Confederate Statues Should be Removed
- NYT History Book Reviews: Who Got Noticed this Week?
- A historian’s advice to students thinking of getting a PhD in a tough economic climate
- German historian Heinz Richter cleared of charges