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Scottish Mysteries. (Wanderer).

29 April 2022
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‘Loch Lomond wanderer’ identified as man found in Cramond bog.

A man whose body was thrown in a mass grave in Cramond more than 1,400 years ago met his death after travelling across the country to what is believed to have been an important centre of power.

The man was one of nine adults and five children who died in the sixth century and whose bodies were dumped in the latrine at a former Roman baths at Cramond,. It was earlier believed the group may have been from one family.

Now it is believed he may have hailed from the Loch Lomond area, with the man travelling to Cramond, judged to have been an important political centre that attracted well-connected individuals, at a time of great turmoil across what became Scotland.

Further tests found violence was also at play at the time of death for some left in the grave, with a woman and child likely killed by blunt force injury to the head, possibly after being bashed by the butt end of a spear.

Professor Kate Britton of Aberdeen University, senior author of the study, said the research team had been surprised those buried in close proximity were born hundreds of miles apart in some cases.She said: “Tooth enamel, particularly from teeth which form between around three and six years of age, act like little time capsules containing chemical information about where a person grew up.The analysis of the burials from Cramond, along with other early medieval burial sites in Scotland, are revealing that it was not unusual to be buried far from where you had originally grown up.

The analysis of the burials from Cramond, along with other early medieval burial sites in Scotland, are revealing that it was not unusual to be buried far from where you had originally grown up.“Previous studies have suggested that those buried here were of high social status, even nobility. What we can say from our new analyses was that these were well-connected individuals, with lives that brought them across the country.”

The bodies were originally discovered in Cramond in 1975.

John Lawson, the City of Edinburgh Council archaeologist, co-author and lead archaeologist on the investigations at Cramond, said the results had emerged from a “fantastic collaboration” with Aberdeen and Edinburgh universities.

The study has been funded by Edinburgh City Council, the University of Aberdeen, the Leverhulme Trust and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

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