The excavation of a mysterious medieval stone in Dundee’s Howff cemetery has unearthed yet more hidden treasures.
The dig, undertaken by the Dundee Howff Conservation Group, began on Sunday in an effort to reveal the secrets of a mystery burial marker, which was found accidentally in July this year during a digital mapping exercise.
The marker is believed to date from the 12th or 13th century with archaeologists now having discovered carvings as well as small pieces of medieval pottery and bone fragments alongside it.
Experts will now analyse the items, as well as carry out further study of the marker to find out more.
Dr Oliver O’Grady, a Perthshire-based archaeologist with OJT Heritage, a company contracted to help with the dig, said more details would soon be revealed.
He said: “The pottery is likely to date from the 14th or 15th century, shortly before the Howff was built — but we don’t know for certain.
“It’s possible that it is from the kitchen table of the Franciscan monastery which stood here at that time.
“In terms of the stone marker, it really is unbelievably rare for something like this to have been missed for all these years.
“This is Dundee’s moment. It’s really special.”
The marker has two faint inscriptions on it which have been carefully assessed by a stone conservator.
One, from 1603, is a memorial to Christian Rutherford, who was the wife of David Lindsay, Master of Dundee Grammar School, and later the Bishop of Edinburgh.
Lindsay crowned Charles I King of Scotland at Holyrood in 1633.
Simon Goulding, chair of the Howff Conservation Group, said the stone was probably taken from its original position and reused.
He said: “We believe that it has been revised, which means it has been altered and re-inscribed.
“We don’t know yet what it was originally but it could be something to do with the monastery or nobility.
“We’re confident that it is from the 13th century because the monastery was built in 1289.”
Councillor Lynne Short added: “Dundee is known for jute, jam and journalism but its history stretches much further back.
“The secrets of this stone will no doubt attract people from all over.
“Anything that pulls people further up into the city from the waterfront is a positive thing.”
Those behind the dig, which ended yesterday, have faced challenging conditions due to freezing temperatures.
Once analysis has been carried out, experts will then decide the best option for the marker, which includes moving it indoors or into a more prominent position within the cemetery.