Excavation planned along river after 1200 prehistoric tools found

Around 1200 stone tools were recovered earlier this year with some dating back 10,000 years.

Excavation planned along river after 1200 prehistoric tools found Mesolithic Deeside

A weekend excavation will take place along a river where over a thousand prehistoric tools have been found.

The excavation at the Milton of Crathes along the River Dee in Aberdeenshire will begin on Thursday and run until Sunday.

Earlier this year 1201 stone tools were found in the area that belonged to people who lived along the Dee between 6000 and 10,000 years ago.

A broken mace-head from the Neolithic era was found by an Aberdeen University student on his first outing.

The event has been organised by Mesolithic Deeside who are a group of archaeologists, volunteers and students investigating the earliest periods of occupation around the River Dee, and funded by Aberdeenshire Council Marr Area Small Project Grant and the King George V Wind Turbine Trust.

Anyone interested in the project can volunteer to dig, help with sorting finds or just visit and see what has been found.

But they have been advised to wear “sensible shoes or wellies”.

Excavation: Mesolithic Deeside at the River Dee in March 2021.Mesolithic Deeside

And on Saturday a new book detailing new archaeological discoveries along the Dee will be launched at the site.

Volunteer Robert Brown, who found a barbed and tanged arrowhead in 2020, said “Over several years of trudging up and down muddy ploughed fields, I have found lots of flints and flint flakes but never a classic arrow head from the Bronze Age.

“At first when I saw it I couldn’t believe my eyes, it was just sitting there on top of the plough ridge. I picked it up, called the others in the team over, and showed them what was in my hand.

“They were as astounded as I was. It may be much younger than the Mesolithic flints we are searching for, but it was still such a thrill. I am itching to get back to hunting for more evidence of our ancestors along the River Dee.”

And Bruce Mann, Regional Archaeologist for Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus and Moray said “The volunteers of Mesolithic Deeside have contributed so much to our understanding of early prehistory in this part of the world through their fieldwalking.

“Now they have continued to thrive as a project despite the challenges of the pandemic, with their online work reaching audiences around the world. The award they have received is absolutely deserved, and will hopefully help inspire others elsewhere across the country.”

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