One of the “significant” pieces of pottery uncovered by archaeologists
It is no secret that the former Market Street Haddington home of the East Lothian Courier is steeped in history…
And now the site’s prominence has been strengthened further by the significant discovery of medieval pottery buried beneath the old printworks for nearly 1,000 years.
A team of archaeologists drafted in to excavate the Market Street/Newton Port site, as part of the transformation of the former newspaper works to the new HQ of East Lothian Housing Association, uncovered a medieval well buried in the grounds of the building that housed the Courier’s printing press (see image, inset).
The excavation, carried out by Edinburgh’s Addyman Archaeology under the guidance of East Lothian Council archaeology officers, uncovered a number of “white, gritty” shards of pottery within the pit, believed to date back to the mid-12th-13th century.
The discovery has been hailed as an “incredible find” by the archaelogists involved, who believe the pieces could be some of the very first locally made medieval pottery to be found in Scotland, and certainly the oldest to be discovered in East Lothian – predating medieval pottery kilns unearthed previously within the grounds of the Colstoun Estate, near Haddington.
At the annual conference of the Medieval Pottery Research Group attended by between 50-60 archaeology specialists in Perthshire on Monday, Tom Addyman, director of Addyman Archaeology and who was present at the excavation of the pieces, delivered a presentation on the discovery to experts from throughout the UK and said the find had provoked a “very excited” response from those in attendance.
“We worked on a very similar site about 10 years ago at 44 Market Street in Haddington that had a lot in common with the Courier site – some early pottery had been found there so we were hopeful that there would be something to discover this time around,” Mr Addyman told the Courier.
“This is an extremely important find.
“The pit itself is a very odd feature. It appears to be some sort of rubbish pit or latrine but we don’t know exactly what it was used for so that is being investigated at the moment.