Archaeologists unearth 'birth certificate of Scotland'

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Edinburgh, Sept 10 (ANI): Archaeologists have reportedly traced the origin of an ancient inauguration mound at Moothill in the grounds of Scone Palace in a remarkable breakthrough that has been hailed as uncovering the "birth certificate of Scotland".

According to The Scotsman, the ancient mound was once the site of the "lost" abbey of Scone, founded in 1114 by Alexander I, where Scottish kings are believed to have assumed the mantle of power on the Stone of Destiny. It is also the place where Robert the Bruce was crowned King of Scots before his victory over the English at Bannockburn.

The critical dating evidence is the outcome of scientific analysis of carbon samples retrieved during excavations of a massive ditch that once surrounded the Moot Hill.

Dr Oliver O'Grady, the archaeologist who has been leading the excavations at Scone for the past five years, said: "The radiocarbon dates confirm Moot Hill as one of Europe's extraordinary survivals, unique in Britain and the first assembly-mound in Scotland to be scientifically dated.

"The lab results are in a sense nothing less than a 'birth certificate for Scotland'. The analysis shows that Moot Hill likely dates to some point between the late ninth century and early 11th century," Dr O'Grady claimed.

Dr O'Grady said the radio-carbon dating, carried out by the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre laboratories in East Kilbride, has proven that the hill was created by the soil brought to Scone in the shoes of nobility who came to pay homage to Robert the Bruce at his crowning in 1306.

The radiocarbon dating was based on the samples of burned wood recovered from the base of ditch, which surrounds the mound.

He also claims that the new dating evidence scientifically matches with the earliest historical accounts of royal ceremonies being held at Scone contained in a tenth-century chronicle, dating from the reign of King Constantine II, which began in 906.(ANI)

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