Scotsman

Ammunition tells of attack on Mingary Castle

Archaeologists excavating Mingary Castle in west Ardnamurchan, Scotland have recovered a musket ball and canonball in the moat of the castle, speaking of an attack sometime in its past. Mingary is considered to be "the best preserved 13th-century castle in Scotland."

Drum Castle's "chamber of secrets"

For centuries, a secret medieval chamber, complete with its own guarderobe, lay hidden behind the walls of Drum Castle near Banchory, Scotland, but now all has been revealed. The room appears to have been covered during later renovations. Drum, home of Clan Irvine, is Scotland's oldest castle.

Archaeologists seek lost Pictish kingdom

A team of archaeologists from Aberdeen are looking for a lost kingdom -- not in some exotic country, but in their own backyard. The experts are seeking Fortriu, "one of the most powerful Kingdoms of the 'painted people,'” now believed to have been located in the Moray Firth area.

Archaeologists search for the body of James IV at Flodden

On 19 September 1513, Scottish King James IV was killed at the Battle of Flodden in Northumberland, England, along with 10,000 other Scots. Now archaeologists are scouring the battlefield, hoping to find the remains of the king. The project marks the 500th anniversary of the battle.

St Donnan's grave found on Eigg

St Donnan, who brought Christianity to Scotland's West Highlands, was killed by Viking riaders in the early 7th century. Now archaeologists from the University of Birmingham are investing remains found at Kildonnan Graveyard to ascertain if the body is that of the saint.

Viking fest named fourth in list of winter events

Up Helly Aa, the rousing Viking winterfest held each year in the Shetland Islands, has been named number four in a list of the ten best winter festivals compiled by the British travel publication Wanderlust. Stephen McGinty of The Scotsman has the story.

The Santa marker and the richness of Scottish DNA

Somewhere is Scotland exists one man who carries Santa's DNA, the NM46 marker traced to eastern Siberia and to Lapland, Santa Claus's legendary home. The unidentified man, so far the only one recorded in Scotland, may find himself visited by a relative on Christmas Eve.

Pictish power centered in Rhynie

Excavations near the site of Scotland's Rhynie Man, a six-foot boulder carved with the image of a Pict, have revealed a fortified early medieval settlement, possibly the seat of the mysterious Kings of Pictland.

Trade between Romans and Picts verified in Scotland

An archaeological team from the Strathearn Environs and Royal Forteviot (SERF) project has proven the existance of trade between the Romans and the Picts with the discovery of an Iron Age broch containing trade items.

"Impressive" Roman finds hold up clinic construction in Scotland

Residents of Musselburgh, Scotland may have to wait a little longer for their health care while city officials and archaeologists decide how to proceed with the excavation of "human remains, the bones of horses and weapons and culinary tools" dating to the Roman era.

Graveyard of ships found in Baltic Sea

Workers constructing a gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea between Russia and Germany have discovered a graveyard of a dozen shipwrecked vessels, some dating to the Middle Ages.

British ponder mystery of Richard II

A visit to Westminster Abbey will show visitors the tomb of King Richard II - or will it? Researchers are wondering if tests on remains found at a former Dominican friary in Stirling, Scotland might determine them to be those of the 14th century king.

Search on for St. Columba's Scottish monastery

Archaeologists from Orkney College are looking for the original 6th century monastery built by the Irish monk St. Columba on the island of Iona, off Mull in the Scottish Hebrides.

Mystery man claims to have found the real "Stone of Destiny"

For years, controversy has surrounded the Stone of Destiny, a relic on display in Edinburgh Castle, with skeptics insisting that the Stone was a fake. Now a "mystery man" claims to have found the real stone in a seaside cave.

Medieval "Chemists" found in Scotland

Archaeologists have discovered a 700-year-old chemists, an herb garden, which supplied the Soutra Hospital near Edinburgh, Scotland.

Edinburgh's lost tower found

Archaeologists working at Edinburgh Castle in Scotland have found what they believe to be remnants of the Constable's Tower, destroyed during the reign of Elizabeth I. The tower was thought to have been lost forever.

Popsicle stick Viking ship to sail in the Netherlands

"Pick up your ice-cream sticks, send them to me and I will put them to use," said stuntman Robert McDonald to kids on a radio show. What he built from the 15 million sticks was a 15-metre Viking ship.

2,000-year-old Iron Age roundhouses may be washed away by storms

A team of archaeologists from St. Andrews University are battling against time to study Iron Age roundhouses on the Scottish island of North Uist. The structures were first exposed in 2005, and are now in danger of washing away in a storm.

Secrets of Scone to be revealed?

Archaeologists working on the grounds Scone Palace in Scotland hope to learn more about the site where the famous Scottish Stone of Destiny was mined, and more about the country's early history.

Christian meets Celt in Scottish mythology

Scotland's place in world mythology is explored in an article by Diane MacLean for the Scotsman. Was King Arthur a Scot? Is the blood of Jesus in Scotland, and is Scotland really the lost city of Atlantis?

Scottish Swordsmith Takes on Parliament

Swordmaker Paul Macdonald is fighting City Hall - or more appropriately the Scottish Parliament - who recently passed a law strictly regulating the sale of swords in the country. Macdonald crafts historically-accurate weapons for re-enactors which he sells to museums, theatres and collectors.

Brits are All Celts Under the Skin

According to a recent study of the genetic makeup of Britain's population, nearly all residents are descended from the Celts. "If one thinks that the English are genetically different from the Scots, Irish and Welsh, that's entirely wrong," said Professor Bryan Sykes, a human geneticist at Oxford University.

Kinder, Gentler Vikings

Dr Andrew Heald, the Later Iron Age and Early Historic Curator at the National Museums of Scotland, tries to lay to rest myths about the cruelty of Vikings in an article for The Scotsman.

Time Team Seeks 12th Century Monastery in Edinburgh

Experts from Channel 4's Time Team have discovered the foundation of an ancient monastery beneath the manicured lawn of Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, Scotland.

"Da Vinci Code" Leads to Rosslyn Vandalism

Dan Brown is not a popular name at Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland. The fame — or notoriety — of Brown's Da Vinci Code has led some to try to breach the chapel's secret vaults.

The Mystery of Scotland's Brochs

Archaeologist Caroline Wickham-Jones looks at Scotland's 2,000-year-old stone towers known as brochs, which were built by master builders for the purpose of defense.

Archaeological Survey of Royal Mile to be Conducted

Radar technology will be used to aid archaeological work on Edinburgh's Royal Mile. Researchers hope to discover such historical buildings as Edinburgh's Tollbooth and Tyne Gaol.

A Scottish Fortress in England

Several castles in Scotland were either built from new — Lochmaben, in Dumfriesshire — or substantially rebuilt and extended — Roxburgh, in the Scottish Borders — by the English during the Wars of Independence of the 14th century. But there is one famous English castle that can claim to be Scottish.

Duke of Buccleuch to Fund Preservation of Newark Castle

The crumbling tower of the 15th century Newark Castle was the scene of one of the bloodiest incidents between the English and the Scots. Now the UK's biggest private landowner, the Duke of Buccleuch, has agreed to take on the task of preserving the monument.

Wallace Execution Headlined Medieval Fair

The execution of Scottish hero William Wallace appears to have been the opening act for a medieval carnival in August of 1305.