Archaeological dig confirms Roman presence in Moray

From the Press and Journal

Ball pin head, a dagger and pieces of harness among artefacts found

Published: 03/09/2008

ARCHAEOLOGISTS and volunteers at the Birnie dig site, near Elgin, have uncovered more evidence of the Romans’ presence in Moray.

The team, led by Fraser Hunter, curator at the National Museums of Scotland, is excavating two 2,000-year-old roundhouses.

During the last week, they have uncovered several items, including a small glass ball pin head, a dagger and the remains of a bronze horse harness.

Mr Hunter said the artifacts are further evidence of the high status of Birnie’s former Roman inhabitants, and show that it was one of the most powerful places in Moray during the Iron Age.

He said: “There have been some good items found this year.

“The glass ball pin head is particularly rare, and a very unusual thing to find here.

“This excavation is producing a wealth of information of how the site must have looked back then.

“It is also helping us understand why the Romans came here and why it was so important to them.”

The site came to prominence eight years ago when about 300 silver Roman coins were discovered there.

Archaeologists have since returned to the site every year to search for more treasures.

Mr Hunter’s team will continue to dig at the site for a further two years to finish the excavations.

He is also opening the site for public tours on Sunday, and said that some of the pieces found this year will be displayed at Elgin Museum.

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