Bypass construction unearthed a wealth of archaeological treasures

Stunning archaeological finds unearthed as a result of the construction of the A75 Dunragit Bypass can be rediscovered in two new publications.

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 3:05 pm
A ceramic vessel recovered at East Challoch Farm

The Booklet and the Monograph detail a remarkable treasure trove of ancient sites and artefacts, spanning a period of around eight millennia – from the Mesolithic to the Iron Age.

A team of archaeologists worked along the route of the new bypass for 19 months ensuring that any important artefacts discovered would be preserved for future generations.

A wealth of prehistoric finds were uncovered during the excavations which were conducted by GUARD Archaeology on behalf of Transport Scotland.

Items discovered include the earliest known house in south-west Scotland, Neolithic ceremonial structures, two Bronze Age cemeteries and an Iron Age village.

Some of the most interesting artefacts found included a rare and complete 167 piece jet bead necklace and bracelet set dating to around 2000 BC, and a Romano-British Iron Age Brooch (a dolphin style fibula) dating to around 100 AD.

There was also Bronze Age cremation urns as well as over 17,000 mesolithic flint tools and artefacts such as arrowheads and blades of Neolithic and Bronze Age date.

A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: “These publications provide a fascinating glimpse into the past which could have remained uncovered had work on the A75 Dunragit Bypass not progressed.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the archaeologists for their work in collating and analysing these finds to provide the people of Scotland with a wealth of information on their ancestors.”

Warren Bailie, GUARD Archaeology operations director, who led the excavations added: “I am delighted that members of the public will have the opportunity to learn more about the lives of past generations who lived in the area.

"The excavations at Dunragit uncovered a depth of prehistoric archaeology spanning eight millennia, revealing the prehistoric heart of Galloway.”

To download the Booklet and the Monograph visit https://guard-archaeology.co.uk/DunragitBlog.