Scotland’s 500-year-old ‘unflushed loo’ a goldmine for archaeologists

September 14th, 2009 - 3:02 pm ICT by ANI  

Edinburgh, September 14 (ANI): A 500 year old ancient drain in Scotland, which lay undisturbed until its discovery in 1990, is turning out to be a goldmine for archaeologists from the Glasgow University.

According to a report in Herald Scotland, the team of archaeologists, backed by volunteers from Renfrewshire Local History Forum, is carrying out a 12-day excavation of the drain.

An initial excavation revealed an arched corridor almost 6ft high, and uncovered pottery fragments and gaming pieces, a complete chamber pot, and other artefacts.

This month’s dig is the first subsequent excavation of the drain, which dates to at least the fifteenth century.

Archaeology professor Steven Driscoll, part of the Glasgow team, said the site was uniquely well preserved.

“What’s unusual is that it hasn’t been messed with. This is a loo that hasn’t been flushed for 500 years. We have a kind of sealed environment, containing artefacts like the earliest known piece of Scottish music, which we found scratched into pieces of slate,” he said.

“The monks here were part of an internationally connected order. They were using Paisley as a kind of communications centre - as we can see from these tags we’ve found, which were the binding of boxes being shipped to the continent,” he added.

“We’ll be finding out about the sorts of things that were growing in the gardens, and the things they were eating. So, it’s possible to reconstruct the lifesyle of the monks,” he further added.

Paisley Abbey was founded as a Cluniac priory in 1163, and became an abbey in 1245. (ANI)

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