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Trial Trench

Date 22 September 2008 - 2 October 2008

Event ID 999304

Category Recording

Type Trial Trench


An archaeological evaluation was undertaken on Constitution Street, Leith during September and October 2008. The aim was to establish the former extent of the South Leith Parish Church graveyard which had been cut through in the 18th century with the construction of Constitution Street and its housing.

The deposits beneath the road are likely to be made ground. The sandy deposit, into which the service trenches were cut was probably used to create a level surface for the road. The presence of disarticulated

human bone in this made ground suggests that at least some of it originated from the original graveyard and at may have been deposited when the tenements, which have basements, were constructed on the eastern side of Constitution Street. The graves were more numerous on the western side where they had been less disturbed. They were cut into a graveyard soil that was present at a depth of c 0.8m. This was found on the western side of both trenches and in the centre of Trench 2 where burials were also encountered. The graveyard soil in the centre of Trench 2 had been truncated leaving only a small area undisturbed. It occurred at a similar depth as that found to the west but the burials in this area occurred 0.3m into the graveyard soil, at a depth of 1.1m below the present road surface, suggesting that the profile in this area was more complete.

Information from Ross Murray (Headland Archaeology) December 2008. OASIS ID: headland1-51073

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