Better than Truffles: a Pig’s Big Dig


The foraging findings of a herd of pigs have prompted great archaeological interest after they unearthed some Mesolithic objects on the east coast of the Isle of Islay in 2009.


Believed to belong to hunter-gatherers from 12,000 years ago, the stone tools they uprooted led a team from the University of Reading to an excavation that would uncover incredible historical discoveries.


After finding tools, animal bones and even a fireplace, the real archaeological gem was revealed in almost Hollywood fashion on the last day of the excavation. Their last-minute discovery of tools from 3000 years before any other findings is the earliest dated evidence of human activity in Scotland. This moves the history of Islay back into the Palaeolithic era, a discovery that many not have been possible without the significant work of some pigs.

Words by Flora Hackett