16 of Edinburgh's most fascinating archaeological discoveries

Founded in the early 12th century, Edinburgh is a city that's positively packed with history - much of it hidden from view.

Thursday, 15th August 2019, 3:45 pm
Skeletons at Leith

From the uncovering of 2000-year-old lioness sculptures at Cramond to the excavation of Medieval knights' tombs at Holyrood Road, we take a look at 16 of Edinburgh's most fascinating archaeological discoveries in recent times.

Edinburgh District Council archaeologist Mark Collard with one of the seventeen 16th century skeletons discovered under Magdalen chapel in the Cowgate in July 1992.
Artefacts dating from the first Jacobite Rising in 1689 were uncovered during excavation works deep under the Castle.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

In 1997 ferryman Robert Graham unearthed a Roman-era lioness sculpture which had lain in the mud for the best part of 1800 years.
A number of ancient stone tombs were discovered next to the Catstane at Turnhouse.
Archaeological remains going back more than 500 years were studied following the Cowgate fire in 2002.
Artefacts belong to leading Enlightenment figure Joseph Black were uncovered during an archaeological dig at Edinburgh University's Old College quad.
Consultant archaeologist Peter Yeoman with one of the four skeletons uncovered at Edinburgh Castle when the entrance was being moved in December 1988.
Portobello's industrial past was laid bare during an archaeological dig at Baileyfield. The dig uncovered a number of artefacts dating from the 19th century on the site of a former bottle works.
Excavations on the site of the former botanic gardens off Leith Walk uncovered a number of artefacts including building remains, pottery fragments and a Medieval gaming piece.
Excavation works at the site of the new Virgin Hotel to the rear of the India Buildings on Victoria Street uncovered evidence of a Medieval street, clay pipes, a pin made of bone and pottery fragments.
Outlines of at least nine coffins dating from the 17th century were discovered in the grounds of St Mary's RC Primary in Leith during an excavation in 2016.
An archaeological excavation at the Cala Homes development site near Ocean Terminal unearthed the remains of the Port of Leith's Napoleonic defences.
Remains from the original construction of the Union Canal of 1818 were uncovered during a dig in 2009.
A section of Leith's 16th century town ditch which formed part of its defences were uncovered during excavation works in 2012.
Workers on the new Edinburgh tram line unearthed a number of 300-year-old skeletons at Constitution Street near to the graveyard at South Leith Parish Church.
The grave and skeleton of a 13th Century knight were discovered during excavation work beneath a former car park at the new Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation.