Archaeology horror: Human remains discovered in Scottish abbey

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The human remains, thought to date back at least 200 years, were unearthed at the Borders abbey. The discovery was made as workers were engaged in refurbishments of the ramparts wall near Jedburgh Abbey. A team of archaeologists is now examining and recording the remains.

They will eventually be removed from the site for more detailed analysis.

Scottish Borders Council and Historic Environment Scotland are now working together to ensure that the remains are sensitively excavated.

They will monitor investigation to ensure information is added to the historic interpretation of the site.

Deirdre Cameron, senior casework officer at Historic Environment Scotland, said: “We are working closely with Scottish Borders Council following this discovery close to Jedburgh Abbey to ensure that this excavation and investigation is handled sensitively and respectfully.”

The Abbey was set to reopen from September 18.

It is unclear whether the opening date will be pushed back because of the finds.

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Jedburgh Abbey is a ruined Augustinian Abbey, which was founded in the 12th Century.

The church went through several landmark changes in its early years.

Beginning as a church in around 1118, the place of worship’s status was shortly raised to a monastery.


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It then became a fully fledged abbey dedicated to the Virgin Mary in around 1147.

It was used as a place of worship until 1871 when it was considered unsafe.

Some alterations to the layout of the proposed work on the abbey are now being considered to limit any further disturbance.

Scottish Borders Council is currently carrying out the work to carefully rebuild and strengthen the area.

The council said any impact on the timescale for the project would be communicated to the community in due course.

SBC’s Simon Mountford said: “Following this discovery, work has been able to continue in other areas of the site.

“However, we are now considering how we can minimise the risk of potentially disturbing more remains as the project progresses.”

The work is part of a £1million project funded by Historic Environment Scotland and Scottish Borders Council.

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