Page last updated at 12:08 GMT, Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Dig unearths 13th century ceramic

Ceramic mask
The mask was unearthed at a site where new homes will be built

A rare ceramic face-mask jug dating back to the 13th century has been uncovered at a building site in Rothesay in Argyll.

The find came after a house builder commissioned an archaeological dig on the site of the former Rothesay Council Chambers and Sheriff Court buildings.

Fyne Homes plans to develop 25 new homes on the land.

The artefact will be surrendered to the Crown who will decide where it will be housed.

Rathmell Archaeology Ltd was commissioned to undertake a programme of archaeological works before building work commenced at the site as a condition of the planning consent.

Given the significance of the buildings and their location adjacent to Rothesay Castle, a comprehensive archaeological dig took place behind the High Street facade last October.

Fragments of other ceramics and metalwork were also unearthed.

This excavation has given us the chance to help further our understanding of how Rothesay grew and developed
Alan McDougall
Fyne Homes
A previous dig on the site in 2006 revealed two small sandstone walls and a compact layer of mortar interpreted as a possible floor which also contained fragments of medieval green glaze pottery.

These finds prompt this latest excavation.

Alan McDougall, director of Fyne Homes said: "We are all excited about the findings which have been uncovered on the site.

"Although Fyne Homes are committed to redeveloping Rothesay and breathing new life into the area it is still important that we remember that it is an ancient Royal Burgh with a rich and dynamic historical past.

"This excavation has given us the chance to help further our understanding of how Rothesay grew and developed."

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