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Friday, 13 December, 2002, 06:33 GMT
Demolition may unearth city's history
Demolition work
Demolition work is under way in the Old Town
Archaeologists are hoping to unearth important traces of medieval life in Edinburgh as fire-damaged buildings in the city's Old Town are dismantled.

Work is under way to demolish properties gutted by the blaze which broke out in Scottish capital on Saturday.

The Old Town is one Edinburgh's most historic districts.

Fire damaged buildings
Several buildings were damaged by fire
People have lived and worked in the area for hundreds of years.

The properties damaged in the blaze mostly date back only to the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

However, beneath them are remains which are thought to be at least one or two centuries older.

Demolition work is continuing on an eight-storey building on South Bridge.

Experts believe that they will discover artefacts and parts of dwellings from the 15th and 16th centuries or even earlier as the block is cleared.

Unique archaeology

Records are to be made of what is revealed on the site.

Edinburgh City Council's archaeologist John Lawson said the Old Town is an area of major interest.

He believes that any redevelopment will have to take account of its unique archaeology.

The blaze which swept through part of the World Heritage Site at the weekend destroyed 11 properties and damaged six more.

The city council has agreed to study the economic impact of the fire before approving any redevelopment of the area.

It is estimated that the cost of the damage will run into millions of pounds.

The cause of the fire is currently being investigated by the emergency services.

See also:

12 Dec 02 | Scotland
10 Dec 02 | Scotland
09 Dec 02 | Scotland
09 Dec 02 | Scotland
09 Dec 02 | Entertainment
09 Dec 02 | Scotland
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