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Tuesday, January 13, 2004
 
Ananova - Archaeologists mistake 1940s patio for Viking village: "

Archaeologists have admitted to having been made to look 'very silly' after mistaking a 1940s sunken patio for a 9th century Viking village.

Fife County Archaeologist Douglas Spiers says his team concluded the slabs found in the back garden of a Buckhaven home had originally been hauled by Norse settlers from a nearby beach.

Even the discovery of a Second World War gas mask on the plot failed to deter them from their theory that this was the first evidence ever seen of Viking homes built on mainland Scotland, reports the Daily Mail.

It was only when the site had been completely cleared, and all the stones exposed, that the truth became apparent.

Mr Spiers said: 'We looked at the slabs and guessed they could have been part of a Viking settlement, considering the area has strong links to Norse culture.

'A bronze age burial chamber was found nearby in the 1920s so the region has some history and for a while we thought we had hit the jackpot again.

'After all our efforts you can imagine how silly we felt.'

Marion Garry, 50, who called the team to her garden after watching a TV show about hidden archaeological treasures in built-up areas, says she plans to turn the sunken patio into a permanent garden feature.

Story filed: 09:27 Thursday 8th January 2004
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