East Lothian Council

Digging up Dunbar!

Published Tuesday 29th August 17

Part of a gold and garnet jewelled cross

10,000 years of history packed into fascinating exhibition

An exciting new exhibition celebrating ten thousand years of history has opened at Dunbar Town House Museum & Gallery during Scotland’s Year of Archaeology, History and Heritage.

Jo Moulin, Museums Officer said

“There has been great excitement locally about some of the pieces on display which include loans from National Museums Scotland”. These include part of a gold and garnet jewelled cross, probably worn as a pendant by Bishop Wilfred who was imprisoned at Castle Park, dating back to AD600 and AD650 and a rare Iron Age strap mount with roundels of red and yellow enamel from the period 50BC to AD200. Such mounts were part of chariot gear and the style is typical of Celtic art in central Britain."

Covering a broad sweep of history from the earliest hunter-gatherers to the Pre-Roman Iron Age through to the Medieval and Victorian periods, visitors can follow in the footsteps of past residents to find out what it was like to live here and all about our fascinating archaeology and heritage.

The exhibition includes an amazing array of objects large and small, decorative and functional from all over the area. Excavations in Dunbar parish have revealed sites that had many uses including ceremony, remembrance, burial, defence, manufacturing, settlement, religion, farming and feasting. The exhibition explores a selection of the largest excavations in detail and offers plenty of opportunity to read more in the additional reading and site reports on these and other areas of the parish. Activities for children are also available.

The John Gray Centre website is a fantastic resource for anyone interested in finding out more about East Lothian’s past. You can search the catalogues of the Archives and Museums services online, as well as newspaper indexes from the Local History Centre, and the Historic Environment Records (archaeology catalogues) for East Lothian and Midlothian. You can also browse the image gallery.

The exhibition was opened by Provost John McMillan who took time to thank Dunbar & District History Society, East Lothian Council Archaeology Service and National Museums Scotland Archaeology and Loans departments for supporting this exhibition.

Dunbar Town House Museum & Gallery is open daily from 1-5pm until 30th September and then on Saturday and Sunday 2-4pm from October to March courtesy of Dunbar & District History Society. Admission is free.

Image – Part of a gold and garnet jewelled cross circa AD600 to AD650 found at Castle Park, Dunbar. On loan courtesy of National Museums Scotland.

Image credit - © NATIONAL MUSEUMS SCOTLAND

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