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Archaeologists are to dig up from the scene of the most infamous clan massacre in Scottish history, and have unearthed portions of a “lost” village in the Highland valley of Glencoe.
The scheme is recommended for use in the 1692 massacre of the MacDonald clan of Glencoe, so-called because they had failed to swear allegiance to King William III.
Derek Alexander, head of archaeology for the National Trust for Scotland (NTS), said that the excavations had uncovered the remains of the buildings of the small town, or in “clachan,” of the Achtriochtan, is one of the three most important of the settlements along the glen, which is now abandoned.
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The three local authorities, each of which is less than a dozen buildings, can be marked on a military map of the valley in the early 1750s. “It is likely that they were in the towns, and, although the world would have been 60 years,” Alexander told Live Science.
The inhabitants of the Achtriochtan, were among those put to the sword ‘ in February 1692, when government soldiers from the Campbell clan, who had been housed in the MacDonald-housing in Glencoe for almost two weeks, was given the order to kill all of their hosts.
Witnesses said the 38 men from the clan Macdonald were killed and dozens of others, including women and children, have fled to the surrounding mountains and ridges. There are many, many died from exposure to the snow and winter weather.
The massacre led to a parliamentary inquiry and the resignation of some of the Scots political leaders, the event is also said to have inspired the blood-drenched Red Wedding” episode of tv’s “Game of Thrones” Smithsonian.com have been reported.
Not much blood
NTS archaeologists have begun the excavation of the buried cities in the Glencoelast years of age, in the hope of finding specific documents relating to the 1692 massacre, and the subsequent occupation of the Highlands to the valley.
Alexander said that the latest excavations have focused on the buried remains of a single house in Achtriochtan, which is about 40 meters long and 20 meters wide (13 x 6 m), and this may be the home for a large family.
It is believed that the stones of the walls of the house, which is up to 3 feet (1 m) wide, and are covered with a layer of peat. This could have been done to the insulation of the houses, and they are better able to withstand the weather conditions in the mountains.
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The NTS is holding an appeal to raise money for the building of a replica of the ancient house, at the NTS Glencoe visitor centre. The replica is said to be the use of materials and techniques, from the time of Alexander, has said.
However, the research is hampered due to the scarcity of the remains of the house, the stone walls, while the floor will remain, ” he said. The stone of the wall, and it has been taken for the construction of the road through the valley, and, if applicable, of the buildings of a working farm. The floor was covered with earth and not be seen by those who took of the stones of the wall, ” he said.
The mystery building
The Glencoe massacre of 1692 is famous in Scottish history, but many of the MacDonalds survived, and held in the townships of glen, including Achtriochtan, Alexander said.
In particular, a number of the MacDonalds of Glencoe appeared on the muster roll of the rebel army of Charles Edward Stuart, known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, who tried, and failed, to restore his family to the British throne in the Jacobite rising of 1745.
In the secondary roles, and in some cases, the soldiers’ profession, and one of the MacDonalds, was listed as the owner of a “change-house” or inn, in Glencoe.
The house, which is now being dug up in Achtriochtan, was set up along the way, so that the building could have served as a local change to the house, Alexander said.
“Or was that a different one of a home, it’s hard to tell,” he said. “It might just be that you feel you have the horse didn’t like who you are, and had something to eat, or the water, or whiskey, or something like that.”
A sample of the pottery is of a type which is well known as a manganese mottled ware, ceramic is used for the making of beer glasses, it had also been found in the ruins of the building.
It seems to be hard to believe, but it is more significant the material, the finds will be found in the house. “Many of the buildings in which many of the artefacts are not. They can be cleaned over and over again,” Alexander said.
Instead, many of the artifacts were found where they had been dismissed as nonsense the so-called “good hope,” he said. “If we have to do more excavations around the structures, and allows us to do more of the stuff.”
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Originally published on Live Science.