Cockenzie and Port Seton asked to join in ‘garden’ archaeology hunt for artefacts

The Waggonway Project is launching this year’s Big Dig, and are hoping the local community will help out.

A local archaeology project is enlisting the local community to roll up their sleeves and start digging in their own gardens to help find evidence of 18th century glassworks.

The group, run by archaeologist Ed Bathune, believe that there is much to be found under the feet of Cockenzie residents.

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Pictures from a 2019 Waggonway excavation.

He explains: “Over the past few years we have had several interesting finds brought to us by locals who have uncovered them whilst doing gardening, including a stunning name seal, onion bottle bases, a huge piece of waste glass and a beautiful clear glass ingot.

“Our team of archaeologists, historians and glass experts (including Jill Turnbull and Helen Spencer) will visit each garden taking part regularly throughout the weekend to offer support and advice and we’ll be broadcasting live video feeds on our Facebook and YouTube channels.”

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He added that the group hoped to be able to eventually identify ventilation tunnels which would have fed the glassworks film to allow higher temperatures to be reached.

Ed continued: “Also some more glass making related items (could be found) - perhaps even a rare piece of crucible, which were used for melting the raw glass in.

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“And who knows what else we might find…”

The dig will take place on September 5 and 6 and anyone who is interested is encouraged to contact the project.

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The 1722 Waggonway Project was created to preserve and interpret the original route of Scotland’s first railway, the Cockenzie waggonway, and all associated industries.

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