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North Berwick, St Andrew's Churchyard

Midden (Period Unassigned), Comb (Viking)

Site Name North Berwick, St Andrew's Churchyard

Classification Midden (Period Unassigned), Comb (Viking)

Alternative Name(s) Kirk Ports

Canmore ID 88927

Site Number NT58NE 2.01

NGR NT 553 852

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council East Lothian
  • Parish North Berwick
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District East Lothian
  • Former County East Lothian

Archaeology Notes

NT58NE 2.01 553 852

In the course of a road-widening scheme along Kirk Ports, North Berwick, part of the old churchyard of St Andrew's was levelled, with the spare soil being sold. While spreading this soil, the purchaser discovered a Norse decorated single-sided antler comb, broken into several pieces. All the teeth were missing, apparently broken off before deposition. Scandinavian parallels suggest a date of c 850-950 AD.

Subsequently, a team from the National Museum of Scotland [NMS] and the Edinburgh Archaeological Field Society sieved the surrounding spoilheaps. No further material of this date was recovered but, apart from the extensive disarticulated remains of post-medieval burials, animal bone and a scatter of pottery spanning the medieval period was recovered. Examination of the area revealed only coffin fittings and two post medieval coins. The low density of finds suggests derivation from rubbish spread on fields rather than primary midden.

The comb was claimed as Treasure Trove and acquired by NMS, (registration no IL 969), with the finder being rewarded.

NMS 1994o.


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