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Archaeology Notes

Date 2013

Event ID 999156

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Archaeology Notes


Two ‘slices’ were taken through a large timber post that was excavated from the quayside area of the docks at the Victoria Swing bridge, Leith. The maximum trunk radius measured was 210 mm, with the timber having been shaped to a roughly square cross section. A preliminary inspection indicated that approximately 80 – 100 growth rings were present at the thickest parts of the timber, but this is probably an underestimate. The post had been impregnated with creosote.

Analysis of the wood indicated that it was coniferous, due to the lack of vessels and the presence of tracheids with large bordered pits in single rows. Further examination showed that on the radial longitudinal section, the cross field cells show fenestriform pits and the cells of the ray tracheids have dentate cell walls. These features indicate that the wood is Pinus sylvestris type (Scots pine type), which includes both Pinus sylvestris (Scots pine) and Pinus mugo (mountain pine).

Information from Dr Susan Ramsey for GUARD Archaeology 2013.

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