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Aberdeen, Garthdee Road

Hearth(S) (Neolithic), Pit (Neolithic), Structure (Neolithic), Unidentified Flint (Flint)(Neolithic), Unidentified Pottery (Pottery)(Neolithic)

Site Name Aberdeen, Garthdee Road

Classification Hearth(S) (Neolithic), Pit (Neolithic), Structure (Neolithic), Unidentified Flint (Flint)(Neolithic), Unidentified Pottery (Pottery)(Neolithic)

Alternative Name(s) David Lloyd Leisure Centre

Canmore ID 281364

Site Number NJ90SW 268

NGR NJ 923 032

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

C14 Radiocarbon Dating


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Aberdeen, City Of
  • Parish Aberdeen
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District City Of Aberdeen
  • Former County Aberdeenshire

Archaeology Notes

NJ90SW 268 NJ 923 032

Early Neolithic structure

Prior to the development of a leisure centre, a 10% evaluation was undertaken in December 2004 to assess the archaeological potential of the site on the gravel banks beside the N bank of the River Dee - an attractive location for prehistoric or Early Historic settlement. The evaluation showed that the lower ground consisted of river gravels and palaeochannels, partially overlain by 19th-century levelling and dumping of domestic rubbish. It also revealed well-sealed charcoal-rich deposits on the top of the ridge in a shallow saucer-like hollow, which yielded a sherd of Neolithic pottery. Trial trenches showed that this prehistoric activity was restricted to an area c 17 x 13m. Subsequent full excavation of this area in March and April 2005 revealed traces of an irregular, roughly oval structure, c 12 x 8-9m, lying E-W along the top of the gravel ridge, parallel with the river. This had a thick trodden floor deposit with a very high concentration of finds (of over 1000 finds, only around 50 were outwith this area). Two successive hearths and a possible ritual pit were within the floor deposit, and a thinner extension of the deposit to the S may indicate an entrance. A number of shallow post-pits were found around the edges of the floor and appeared to indicate a wall line.

Hazelnut fragments and charred grains of naked barley, bread wheat and possible emmer wheat were identified from the hearths and floor deposits. Finds include a large assemblage of flint, two small fragments of polished stone axe and a large assemblage of Early Neolithic carinated pottery. Samples of grains and hazelnuts from the hearths and floor deposits have yielded radiocarbon dates in the range 3800-3650 BC. Dates from the possible ritual pit deposit were considerably earlier.

Report to be lodged with Aberdeen SMR and NMRS.

Sponsor: David Lloyd Leisure Ltd.


Archaeological Evaluation (7 June 2010 - 5 July 2010)

NJ 9218 0316 An evaluation was carried out 7 June–5 July 2010 on the eastern part of a development site at Garthdee Campus. The work was considered necessary due to the proximity of a previously excavated Neolithic structure (NJ90SW 268). A trial trench evaluation carried out 7–11 June 2010 revealed the remains of a building marked on an early 20th-century OS map. This building was probably associated with the gravel

pit (NJ90SW 236) that is marked on the same map and which the evaluation trenches indicated had been used for modern landfill. A cluster of possible pits and features, one of which contained a flint blade of Early Neolithic date, were also recorded during the evaluation. A subsequent excavation on 5 July 2010 revealed that the possible pit features were tree boles. The discovery of the flint blade in the upper fill of one these features probably reflects the effect of bioturbation.

Archive: RCAHMS (intended)

Funder: Robert Gordon University

Iraia Arabaolaza and Alastair Becket – GUARD


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