The Archaeology of a Royal Palace
The palace project was the largest of its kind ever undertaken by Historic Scotland. In order to understand more about the building of the palace, and how it developed and changed, we carried out Scotland’s largest archaeological investigation into a standing building.
The archaeologists made many fascinating discoveries. These included the remains of a series of medieval skeletons, including a knight who may have been killed in battle, buried beneath the floor of lost royal chapel which predated the palace. Five tiny hand-carved wooden soldiers, probably from the earlier 19th century, were also found in an area used by the army after the royal family abandoned the palace.
The research also highlighted many fascinating details from when the palace was lived in by kings and princes like James VI. For example the letters AMV – for Ave Maria Virginus – were scratched into the great outer door as it was believed that this would stop witches from getting inside.
The results of the archaeological research have been published online