Scottish archaeologist, 35, collapsed and died of a suspected peanut allergy


A SCOTS archaeologist collapsed and died of a suspected peanut allergy while eating dinner at a dig.

Tragic Jackie Scott suffered the fatal allergic reaction while working near Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland.

Friends and paramedics battled to save the 35-year-old but he died later in hospital in nearby Ashington.

Jackie knew he had an allergy to peanuts and tried to avoid them, said his mother
Jackie knew he had an allergy to peanuts and tried to avoid them, said his mother


Jackie, from Inverness, was working as an assistant supervisor for the Bamburgh Research Project.

The Aberdeen University graduate had suffered a mild allergic reaction to peanuts in the past and was careful to avoid them.

Project Director, Paul Gething, informed members of the project of his death on the official blog.

Expressing his “immense sadness”, he wrote: “Jackie Scott…died very suddenly at our campsite on Thursday evening.

“The cause of his death appears to be anaphylactic shock caused by an allergy.”

Mr Gething said the tragedy had thrown the projects in the area into disarray.

He added: “He was kind. He was gentle. He was humorous. He was a talented archaeologist. But most of all he was our friend.”



Although nothing has been confirmed in this case, it is possible to suffer fatal anaphylactic shock by consuming even small, undetected traces of nuts in a meal.

The archaeologist’s mother, Linda Scott, 62,  confirmed that he had had mild reactions to peanuts in the past and had avoided them ever since.

She said: “It is a comfort that he was in the place he had wanted to be, doing what he wanted to do.”

“I think he was always interested in history and he had friends who took archaeology as well. I think it was always at the back of his mind,” she added.

Jackie  had studied degrees in forestry and sociology before completing an archaeology degree at Aberdeen University last year.


Investigation Team 

The Scot had been working as part of a team investigating a preserved ancient wetland site in Northumberland.

Anaphylaxis is relatively uncommon but can be life threatening. It can affect people of all ages and those with other allergic conditions, such as asthma, are most at risk of developing anaphylaxis.

It is the result of your body’s immune system over reacting to a harmless substance, such as food.

The most common triggers are insect stings, nuts, other types of food such as seafood or certain medications.

It can develop within minutes though sometimes can happen hours later.

Most people make a full recovery however the NHS estimates that around 20-30 deaths due to anaphylaxis occur in the UK each year.