I’m Chris, and I’d like to take the time to tell you about the goings-on at the site I’ve been working on at SERF over the last week! I’m a second year student of History and Archaeology at Glasgow, and this is my first excavation, so it’s been pretty exciting, and also a definite learning experience. Friday night was a heavy, heavy night, so 9AM Saturday morning archaeology at Leadketty was, it has to be said, the best way to clear fifty-odd hangovers. Last night’s booze was replaced by thoughts of rings of postholes as we carried the tools to the three trenches through the bracing Perthshire morning, bright eyed and all fresh to a man. Almost.
The Leadketty site itself is a really interesting area – cropmarks had revealed to us the presence of what looked like several monumental circles, so trenches were opened up to investigate them. I’ve been working in Trench 1 (of 3, imaginatively named Trenches 1, 2 & 3), dug to investigate the presence of a possible timber circle, with four exciting huge postholes in the centre. Possibly a structure! There are also a couple of medieval ploughstrikes. The other trenches also held postholes, and one of them, Trench 2 also contained an earthen circle, with a large, suspicious dark mark in the centre – it’s been affectionately named the Treasure Pit. Of course, Trench 2’s features are all clustered to one end, the other having a prehistoric stream running through it, so they say.
Starting off excavating a posthole after a brief warm-up Trench Dance to appease the twin deities of Leadketty (The Sunburn God, and the Irn Bru God, see picture below.), our Trench found possible Neolithic pottery within five minutes. Excitement mounted, as below this and amongst it was a layer of charcoal and charred bone. Just when we thought the Trench had no more to offer, another posthole revealed large sherds of Grooved Ware, the first found in six years work at SERF. The discovery moved seasoned archaeologists to dance for joy, creating, in a move that will live in infamy, the “Groovy Ware Dance,” which will not be dignified with further comment.
Trench 3 had already thrown up a beautiful example of a lithic the day before, close to the surface of one of its huge postholes. Today, once again it began to produce pottery, and even a piece of jasper, along with samples of charred bone and charcoal, just like Trench 1. Trench 2, for so long barren of finds had also thrown up a small sherd, but then again, the Treasure Pit is only just being opened. Who can tell what may lie within? With so much found so close to the surface of so few postholes, we can only guess what Leadketty is going to surprise us with.