Scottish archaeologists have completed an operation to
remove an Iron Age chariot from an Edinburgh building site.
The chariot, which is thought to have been used in a
burial around 250 BC [later carbon dated to the fifth century BC], was
unearthed by construction workers on the site of the new Edinburgh
Interchange development, near Newbridge.
Experts said the chariot is the first of its kind to be
discovered in Scotland and suggests that someone of importance may
have been buried nearby.
Edinburgh City Council ordered an archaeological excavation
to be carried out on the Newbridge site due to its proximity to Huly Hill,
a Bronze Age burial cairn surrounded by three standing stones.
Stephen Carter, director of Headland Archaeology, who undertook
the dig, said the discovery had been "a complete surprise".
"This is the type of find that you read about in books - you
don't expect to be faced with the genuine article on site," he said.
During the excavation, Mr Carter was helped by experts from the
National Museums of Scotland (NMS) and City of Edinburgh Council.
The chariot, which was still encased in mud, was then taken to the
NMS laboratory in Granton, Edinburgh, for conservation work.