Eight areas of archaeology were observed by the GUARD Archaeologists, who were monitoring the excavation works for the new pipeline.

These included some prehistoric burnt spreads and pits but of particular note was the discovery of early Neolithic carinated bowl fragments in a number of post-holes forming part of a rectangular building near Hillhouse farm.

The individuals that built this Neolithic house were some of the earliest communities in Ayrshire to adopt a sedentary lifestyle, clearing areas of forest to establish farms, growing crops such as wheat and barley and raising livestock such as cattle, sheep, goats and pigs.

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Archaeologists from GUARD Archaeology Ltd, working for Scottish Water, have uncovered the remains of one of the earliest houses in East Ayrshire.

Dating to around the early Neolithic period (3,500-4000 BC), these archaeological remains were uncovered in countryside near Kilmarnock while Scottish Water was working on an ongoing £120M project to upgrade the water mains network between Ayrshire and Glasgow.

‘The width and depth of these post-holes indicated that they once held very large upright timber posts, suggesting that this building was once a large house, probably home to an extended family or group of families.’ Up until this time, during the earlier Mesolithic period (c.

8000-4000 BC), Scotland was inhabited by small groups of hunter gatherers, who led a nomadic lifestyle living off the land.

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AMONG the alkaline igneous rocks of Ayrshire are two groups of minor intrusions the age and genetic relations of which have aroused considerable interest in the past.

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‘Traces of milk fat have been found in other carinated bowls found elsewhere in Scotland.