Neolithic discoveries offer evidence of prehistoric Scotland's first farming communities

By Ben Miller | 05 January 2015

Archaeologists travel 6,000 years into the past along riverside route of Edinburgh tram track

A photo of people digging in a brown trench at a large outdoor archaeological site
Archaeologists have been investigating a ridge at Gogar Mains in Edinburgh© Courtesy GUARD
Archaeologists have produced a picture of prehistoric Scottish communities stretching back to around 4,000 BC, based on the finds made along a £776 million tram route between Edinburgh Airport and the city centre.

Five or six phases of occupation were found along the plain of the River Almond, including pits containing hazelnut shells, blades and evidence of animal occupation.

Councillor Richard Lewis, of Edinburgh City Council, said the “incredibly rich” history of the area made it seem “as though something headline-worthy is uncovered every time a spade is sunk into the soil in Edinburgh.”

“Yet again, archaeologists have given us a fascinating insight into past civilisations who once called this place home," he added.

“The reconstruction image in particular gives us an intriguing concept of how different the land around this part of the tram route would have looked as far back as 700 years ago.

“It’s also amazing to think that we now have evidence of Edinburgh’s first farming communities from the Neolithic era, some 6,000 years in the past.”

A full report is expected to be published this year.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

An overhead photo of archaeologists in high-visibility clothing working on a brown field
More finds could be made if the area is built upon© Courtesy GUARD
A photo of archaeologists in high-visibility clothing with barrows working on a brown field
© Courtesy GUARD
A photo of an illustration showing a prehistoric greenfield settlement under a clear sky
Gillian McSwan's reconstruction of Nether Gogar village during the 12th or 13th century© Courtesy GUARD
More from Culture24's Archaeology section:

Neolithic and Bronze Age cists and tombs show tensions between changing prehistoric ideologies

Archaeologists use ancient teeth to find evidence that humans drank milk 5,000 years ago

Archaeologists begin work on hacked-up silver buried in Scotland during decline of Roman Empire
Latest comment: >Make a comment
  • Back to top
  • | Print this article
  • | Email this article
  • | Bookmark and Share
    Back to article
    Your comment:
    DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted at are the opinion of the comment writer, not Culture24. Culture24 reserves the right to withdraw or withhold from publication any comments that are deemed to be hearsay or potentially libellous, or make false or unsubstantiated allegations or are deemed to be spam or unrelated to the article at which they are posted.