Thursday, 22 May 2008

Scottish Parliament Archaeology Book Launched

On Tuesday, Culture Minister Linda Fabiani MSP launched the book which reveals the archaeological and historical findings from the site of the Scottish Parliament. Scotland’s Parliament and the Canongate: archaeology and history, details the complex task when a team of archaeologists, historians, specialists in historic buildings and scientists - led by Historic Scotland - began, at that time, the country’s largest archaeological excavation in 1998. The book documents the archaeological excavation and research, and the architectural and historical analysis of the site of the Parliament, and places it in its wider context in the medieval burgh of Canongate. A key part of the study was the investigation of Queensberry House – a major 17th-century urban palace on the edge of the site.

Gordon Barclay, Head of National Policy at Historic Scotland, who led the project and edited the book along with Anna Ritchie, said: “The decision to locate the new parliament building in the heart of the medieval burgh of Canongate, and adjacent to Scotland’s primary royal palace, provided an opportunity to explore a large proportion of an important medieval town that had lain at the centre of Scotland’s history. The integration of the archaeological project with the construction work was a major achievement by the archaeological contractors, Headland Archaeology and SUAT Ltd. The fieldwork and the subsequent analysis of the information retrieved have produced a rich and complex history of the site. It is a great achievement by everyone concerned.”

The book is available from the Scotland’s Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, National Museums Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JF -


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