Saturday, 11 August 2012

Hey, I’m David, a Glasgow University student entering third year and taking part in the SERF project for this season. I’m working at Castle Craig, an Iron Age site which when excavated in 2011 revealed a broch – the only broch in the surrounding area, so a very important discovery. This year the site is undergoing excavation again as part of a feasibility study due to its unique nature.

Today I was working in Trench 9, set on the south bank of the hill. The first job of the day was to extend the trench in order to gain better knowledge of a set of tumbled stones discovered the previous day during cleaning. The topsoil was full of tangled roots, which made it very difficult to mattock through. It was time consuming but worth it - the stones exposed now reveal what could potentially be a collapsed wall from a structure or part of a large bank. The feature still needs to be cleaned and looked at in further detail to gain a better idea of what to do next in the excavation process. Ryan scanned the trench with a metal detector today – revealing a lot of possible finds underneath the soil. Trench 8 appears to have 6 finds, one of which may possibly be silver, which could be rather exciting. The detector can’t pick up alloys, which means we must be extra careful when excavating in order to discover pieces of metal such as bronze which has already been found in this particular trench.

On the top of the hill, the three other trenches currently open continue to make progress. Trench 8 in the East was faced with the issue of finding various stones which had tumbled over a slope but with limited finds and no real idea of what exactly occurred in this area. A discovery late in the working day revealed what is thought to be a portion of the outer face of the broch. The team in Trench 6 in the North is continuing to clean back the soil, reaching a medieval occupation layer – revealing a few finds including a possible lead weight. The team also uncovered a piece of the broch wall today. Trench 1 is still being excavated in order to uncover the parts of the broch found last year, but there’s still plenty to go before the full extent of the broch is revealed in the trench. There is also the possibility of a newly discovered posthole which could be excavated in Trench 1 but further investigation will be required.

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