Aden open days to explore the Neolithic period

James Dilley of ancient craft UK will set up a Neolithic campsite
James Dilley of ancient craft UK will set up a Neolithic campsite

Aden Country Park in Mintlaw is to host two Neolithic open days as part of a series of archaeological digs being held in the park.

The open days are set to take place on Sunday, June 30 and Saturday, July 6 and will provide visitors with a real insight into Neolithic life including traditional crafts, diet and early forms of music.

There will also be the opportunity to see what has been found at the site.

In November 2018, an archaeological dig supported through the Aden Restoration and Redevelopment National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) project and the Aden Archaeology Historic Environment Scotland (HES) project, took place revealing an enclosed structure potentially dating back to the Neolithic period, possibly 5500 years old.

This exciting and extremely rare discovery has resulted in the need to carry out a further excavation of the site which will take place until Sunday, July 7.

The open days will give an insight into the type of activities people took part in during the Neolithic period and give people the opportunity to come along and see what has been found.

The open day on June 30 will have a Neolithic music demonstration, pottery making, traditional dyeing demonstrations and straw and organic rope making.

Meanwhile the open day on July 6 will have James Dilley of ancient craft UK setting up a Neolithic campsite. The camp will include demonstrations of flintknapping, cooking, cordage, grain and axe grinding.

Archaeologist, Ali Cameron, who has been commissioned by Aberdeenshire Council to led on archaeology aspects of the project said: "Aden Country Park is a wonderful archaeological landscape.

"The site we are returning to is potentially the oldest we have uncovered - possibly 5500 years old. However, we have found it difficult to get good dating evidence so far because the site has been disturbed by hundreds of years of ploughing.

"We are going to open a huge trench incorporating a cup-marked stone in the edge of the field to see if it relates to our post-hole structure, and excavate more pits where posts and live trees stood forming an enclosure. We would also love to find out what the enclosure was used for. Come along and visit and see what we have found out."

The open days are free to attend however donations to help support the ongoing archaeological investigations will be welcomed.

A crowdfunding page has been set up for people and businesses alike to help support the Neolithic dig, activities and open days. For more details click here.

For more information or to get involved in volunteering at this dig, or any of the other archaeological digs, please contact the Aden Skills Development & Events Officer at