Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Last Days and the End of Castle Law Excavations 2014

Castle Law excavations 2014 is now over.  The final days were very busy and therefore the blog went silent, but here is a picture recap of the last days of the dig and the ultimate destruction of the backfilling team.

I would like to thank everyone that helped on site - it was extreme archaeology that only could be done be an extreme team!  Thank you all!  I would also like to thank the Dupplin Estate and Michael Blanche of Culteuchar farm for letting us carry out our crazy dig. - TP

Sondage through stone 'capping' of bank and leveled area over burnt deposits of earlier bank in Trench F
Alan recording sondage in Trench F
Odd hearth stone on slope in Trench F
Rough cobble surface of hut platform in Trench F
Effie Photos-Jones came along and zapped the area of soil vitrification in Trench E for chemical composition analyses
Neil's sondage through the vitrified bank material on to a layer of black ash and charcoal
Section of vitrified bank on the vestiges of an earlier bank
A rock cut ditch was discovered filled with large boulders at the base of the bank (who knew??)
More sampling for post-excavation analyses
The wall of the inner enclosure through the rubble in Trench G
Look at that rubble and collapse... very sexy!!
Veronika, Alistair and Ian very happy to reach bedrock through the rubble and clay!!
Dream Team's hole through the core of the wall (check out the drips and stains of vitrification in the top right of the section - magic!!!)
Another fantastic picture of the Dream Team (others had to be censored!!!)
Finished returfing Trench G on the last day - look at the beautiful sunshine!
An amazing but exhausted team at the end of backfilling!!! - Thank you all

Friday, 18 April 2014

Surveying with RCAHMS at Law of Dumbuils

This week I have been following in Yvonne’s footsteps and learning about plane table drawing from the RCAHMS surveyors, Ian, George, and John at Law of Dumbuils hillfort.

When we first visited the site, George suggested I spend half an hour making a quick sketch of how the structure of the fort appeared to me. It was a little overwhelming at first as the fort is made up of multiple ramparts and full of lumps and bumps.

At first it was difficult to disentangle all of the features at Law of Dumbuils

The Wild (“Veelt”) RK1 alidade is the workhorse of RCAHMS surveys – no longer made and older than George!

When surveying, RCAHMS use a mix of traditional and hi-tech methods, from plane-table surveying to differential GPS surveying. This gives them a full and balanced understanding of a site. The primary tool used is a self-reducing alidade, typically with a 1:500 scale. Ian, a draughtsman with 40 years experience, explained that this scale removes a degree of subjectivity and any small errors that may occur when recording.  After Ian had explained to me how the alidade works, I started to record some of the fort’s features with the help of John. By the end of the day the plan was starting to take shape!

Familiarising myself with the alidade.

Final day of Fieldwalking

Day 4 and all done by 2.30pm. Fewer finds in Field 2 on Thursday, although we managed to bag 35 artefacts (179 in total). A very successful four days. Special thanks to the fieldwalking team, Calum Rollo (landowner), John Neil (farmer) and our visitors Kenny & Jan Brophy.


Thursday, 17 April 2014

Further Fieldwalking Tales

Another successful day (16/7) fieldwalking at Millhaugh. Bagged finds now up to 144. I'm pleased to say that the vast majority are chipped stone. Many thanks to an exceptional team, namely Sophie Bojadziev, Gillian Bond, Daniel Maclean, Patricia Neuhoff and Katherine Price, and not forgetting Alex Alexander who was with us for the first two days.

We had visits from Calum Rollo (landowner) and Kenny & Jan Brophy. Jan very kindly brought us homemade Cypriot almond biscuits. Delicious and all gone :)


Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Millhaugh Fieldwalking

Other activities going on by the SERF project this week include fieldwalking (headed up by Dene Wright)

"Very successful first two days with more than 60 pieces of worked flint and jasper including flint cores and scrapers. There's other stuff but it's not as exciting as the chipped stone :) Thanks to Alex, Gillian, Katherine, Sophie and Patricia." - Dene

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Day 13 at Castle Law

...the dream team strikes again!

Monday, 14 April 2014

Day 12 at Castle Law

Sunny and lovely at Castle Law today ... Magic (maajeek) Monday.  Today's blog post will be a barrage of photos from across the site... enjoy!

Planning in Trench E
Zane still finding more to the bank in Trench E
Ross digging in Trench F
Team Macdonado back together again!
Exposing the outer wall
Thumbs up!
Thinking deep thoughts about the past
Ian and Veronika finding clay under rubble
Ancient ancestor idol
Lorraine and Lauren digging through the wall
Vitrified stone from the wall
What do you think about the vitrified stone Adrian?

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Day 11 at Castle Law

Another extremely windy day, who knows how many tools and equipment have now ended up over the hill.  Everyone embraced the goggle fashion and kept digging.  The outer face of the inner enclosure is proving to be much deeper than the inner face and therefore more rubble had to be excavated for safety.  General rubble removal continues over the putative hut platform ('happening' (PVI 3, Poller in prep)) and another layer (other than just stones) is emerging ("is it, is it" C Mac pers comm).  In Trench E the vitrified soil is beginning to show distinct concentrations (ohhh....).

The outer wall in Trench G - keeps on going!
Zane excavating in the 2013 Trench E
Neil covered up to protect against the wind on top of the rampart in Trench E showing vitrified soil concentrations