Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Dig at Cowgate fire site uncovers 16th Century houses

The remains of houses dating back to the 16th Century have been uncovered in Edinburgh's Old Town.

They were found by archaeologists excavating in the Cowgate where there was a major fire almost 10 years ago.

The blaze in December 2002 took more than 18 hours to bring under control and caused serious damage to the world heritage site.

Artefacts including pottery, a bone comb and fragment of a gaming board have also been found.

The site is being redeveloped and previous archaeological digs have revealed 16th and 17th century buildings.

During the last phase of excavation the street frontages and walls of these houses, and later tenements, have been uncovered.

Richard Lewis, Edinburgh City Council's convener of the culture and leisure committee, said: "This is a significant find as it completes the picture of artefacts and structures archaeologists hoped to find on the site.

"The dig is in the final phase and so this is the last chance for us to discover the secrets that lie in this historic area of the city.

"Everyone involved in the project is delighted that the site continues to provide important insights into this little researched area of Edinburgh's Old Town."

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