Aberdeen City HER - NJ90NW0323 - 13 KING STREET, ABERDEEN

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Primary ReferenceNJ90NW0323
NRHE Card No.NJ90NW327
NRHE Numlink 108467
Site Form Artefact
Site Condition Complete 2
Details A complete locally made jug of 13th century date found at 13 King Street, Aberdeen during a basement clear out. The jug was brought to the attention of the Archaeological Unit, Aberdeen City Council, by a local man, who rescued it from being thrown out from basements where it had been sitting, gathering dust, for many years. It is only the second complete medieval jug known from Aberdeen and is the only evidence of medieval activity from this area of the city. The jug has a stacking scar on the base where another jug was stacked on top, upside down in the kiln during firing. The jug was excavated during the digging of the basement in 13 King Street in 1872 and was then rediscovered a number of years ago. The discovery of this complete vessel suggests that it had lain in the ground undisturbed from the 13th or 14th-century period until 1872. The find spot was in fact outside the burgh in the medieval period. The jug has two cuttings from a newspaper affixed to the side of it. One reads `The Aberdeen Free Press with gratis supplement Tuesday March 19 1872 An interesting discovery...' but the remainder of the cutting has been burnt. The other label reads Tuesday March 19 1872 `(Inte)resting discovery on Wednesday, the labourers (discovere)d in excavations for an addition to Messrs Chivas (a we)ll baked urn, containing what appeared to be calcined (bones). The urn was found about ten feet from the present (height) of the ground, but it is possible that it may have (been) originally interred at a greater or less depth, as the (Maut)hillock stood at the place, and the levelling opera (tion) made when it was lowered may have altered the (charact)er of the ground. The urn, which has one handle (like a e)wer measures twelve inches from top to bottom, and ...inches in circumference. It was surrounded by ...were perfectly rotten'. The `Aberdeen Journal' of Wednesday 20th March 1872 and `The Aberdeen Herald' of Friday 22 March 1872 also reported the story and the additions in brackets above have been added using information from these two publications. Unfortunately the Aberdeen Free Press `with gratis supplement' does not appear to survive. As the Free Press was a weekly newspaper published on a Friday, it is possible that this Tuesday version was a special supplement. One piece of additional information which does not appear in either the `Aberdeen Journal' or `The Aberdeen Herald', but which does appear on the cutting stuck to the body of the vessel is `It was surrounded by ... were perfectly rotten'. Unfortunately the edge of the cutting has been obliterated, and the information in the middle of that sentence has been lost. It may be that the vessel was found in a midden layer, or surrounded by wood (`perfectly rotten'). The original contents of the jug, `calcined bones', cannot be commented on as they do not survive. A large number of medieval coin hoards, however, have been found in Aberdeen, mainly in ceramic jugs with their rims removed. The jug found in King Street would be an extremely unusual vessel for a hoard therefore, as firstly its rim is intact and secondly there are no marks on the interior of the jug to indicate that it had ever contained coins.
Last Update22/02/2019
Updated Bycpalmer
Date of Compilation13/09/2017

Easting: 394423.915812592, Northing: 806411.380673499

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National Grid Reference: NJ 9442 0641

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