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A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Well With Stone Stairs Unearthed in Scotland

Friday, June 7, 2019

Scotland granite wellABERDEEN, SCOTLAND—The Press and Journal reports that archaeologists led by Gordon Noble of the University of Aberdeen uncovered a well carved into the granite of Mither Tap, one of the rock outcrops in Bennachie, a range of hills in eastern Scotland. Noble said the well is probably linked to a fort dating back to the Iron Age that stood on the hilltop. “We were really expecting to find a pretty bog-standard well,” he said, “but we uncovered these fantastic steps leading all the way down to the well chamber.” Access to the deepest part of the well is blocked by a large rock that may have been placed there by a shepherd to prevent his animals from falling down the shaft. Noble said if the team members are able to remove the rock, they may be able to recover deposits that would enable them to date the well, and pollen samples that could provide information about the environment at the time the well was in use. To read about  excavations on the Scottish archipelago of Orkney, go to "Neolithic Europe's Remote Heart."

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