Although it has yet to be picked up by any major media outlets, the East Lothian Courier has reported on the finding of a very large building thought to be largest Anglo-Saxon structure ever found in Scotland.
The article reports that the stone foundations of the building – possibly as large as 40 m x 20 m – were found in April and May. Radiocarbon dating of associated animal bone has apparently returned a seventh- to ninth-century date range.
Part of an eighth-century stone cross fragment is also said to have been found. The excavations were prompted by the finding of a large concentration of metalwork, including an ornamental pin and strap-end.
Ian Malcolm, of the Aberlady Conservation and History Society, said: “It may have been monastic, or a feast hall or a royal site. There have been other excavations but no evidence of a structure on this scale has been discovered.”
There are a few reasons to be cautious, however. As Gabor Thomas remarked to me earlier in the week, the dimensions seem almost impossibly large. The building could perhaps be paralleled with the broadly contemporary stone-built structure from Northampton, but at 37.6 m x 11.4 m such a comparison can only be in terms of length.
We should also be wary of a radiocarbon sample, presumably processed using modern standards, returning a calibrated range spanning three centuries.
Even so, this is clearly a very exciting finding, one that the network will be following with great interest.
The original article can be found here: http://www.eastlothiancourier.com/news/14620182.Archaeologists_find_evidence_of___39_largest_Anglo_Saxon_building_in_Scotland__39__in_East_Lothian/.
A useful resource for Anglo-Saxon Aberlady can also be found here: https://aberladyangles.com/anglo-saxon-aberlady/.