Monday, 17 June 2013

Welcome to the 2013 SERF Fieldschool!

After our successful dig at Castle Law Forgandenny hillfort earlier this spring, the SERF fieldschool is back for the 2013 season! This year (15 June - 5 July) we have three main sites in the Dunning area of Perthshire, continuing the work we started last year. Our excavations this year cover the Neolithic straight to the modern day. Alongside that we'll be doing lots of surveys and other activities in the Dunning area; read on or follow us on Twitter for regular updates @SERFProject. Let's introduce this year's sites!

Leadketty Farm

Dene at the opening of the Leadketty trench last week.
This year's prehistoric excavation is truly massive, at 50x20m. We are investigating the site of a possibly Neolithic causewayed enclosure, seen only as a cropmark from aerial photography. The topsoil is all cleared off now and there's plenty of features appearing already, so stay tuned for more details.

St Serf's, Dunning

Our students opening one of the trenches outside St Serf's Parish Church, Dunning.  
We are also continuing our exploration of the medieval church of St Serf's, which is famous for its 12th-century Romanesque tower and now houses the 9th-century Dupplin Cross (originally from Forteviot). Our excavation in this area last year turned up a fragment of another Pictish cross slab reused in a post-medieval context, as well as lots of evidence for the weaving industry that made Dunning an important market town. So far this year we have been busy sorting through loads of modern midden material (see below), but with the odd fragment of 16/17th-century ceramic appearing here and there.
Just some of the many modern finds found today in Trench 04 outside St Serf's!

Kay Craig

Neil starts digging through the rubble at Kay Craig.
Our last main site is at Kay Craig, a possible hillfort directly across from the broch we discovered at Castle Craig. That site was had evidence of occupation from the Iron Age down to the 11th century, so the aim at Kay Craig is to see when this site was used and how it related to the occupation on the broch site. But there's still lots of rubble to clear off!

And much more...

Alongside our main excavations at these sites, we're also running a fantastic series of events in and around Dunning this month, including the second annual Big Dig all around the village, and the Wee Big Dig at Dunning Primary School. For more information, visit our outreach events page or follow the Big Dig on Facebook!

For more on previous seasons of SERF, including excavation reports and photo galleries, head to our project website.

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