Ancient skull found at Musselburgh

Iron Age human remains discovered under famous Old Links

Wed, 6 Feb 2013

Ancient skull found at Musselburgh

In a week where it has been confirmed the skeleton discovered under a car park in Leicester was that of King Richard III, greenkeepers at Musselburgh Old Links golf course have stumbled upon some ancient human remains of their own.

A skull unearthed from beneath a bunker on the fourth hole at the oldest golf course in the world was sent to Dundee University’s forensic anthropology department for further examination.

And archaeology officers at East Lothian Council, which owns the golf club, have revealed the skull belonged to a girl in her late teens and is approximately 2,000 years old.

“It was a very populated area during that time, and periodically bones from similar periods are uncovered in that area,” said a council spokesperson.

“The size of the skull and the teeth suggest that it was probably a young female in her late teens or early 20s.

“A limited dig will be carried out to see if there are other bones relating to the skull in close proximity. The chances are these bones will have been disturbed considerably over the past 2,000 years.

“Winter maintenance work will resume and the bunker repair work can continue without disturbing digging in the area.”

And it is not the first time Musselburgh Links has been associated with old bones.

The course’s second hole is named The Graves because it is believed to be a burial ground for soldiers who died at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh between the armies of Scotland and England in 1547.

Documentary evidence proves that golf was played on Musselburgh Links as early as 2 March 1672 although Mary Queen of Scots reputedly played here in 1567.

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