Friday, 24 August 2012

Castle Craig - Ewan's Birthday

    Greetings from Castle Craig; we had quite a busy morning between visits from Historic Scotland (our wonderful co-funders!), Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust, and children from Dunning Primary School. The local interest in our work is exciting and it's great to get the chance to share our brand-new finds with the community.
    After our visitors left, we were able to get back to excavating briefly before being interrupted by rainshowers. We took shelter in our storage tent and took the opportunity to celebrate Dr Ewan Campbell's birthday - he turned a very youthful 27 today - with some cake and chocolate biscuits.
    We continued extending Trench 1 to the north to give us the opportunity to excavate deeper along the outer edge of the broch wall, and after lots of rock hauling we managed to reveal a strange gap in the stone low down in the wall. This may have served as a drain from the interior of the broch, possibly removing water and other undesirable material from ground floor. A small stone-lined posthole sitting atop the broch wall was also excavated, likely contemporary with the medieval palisaded enclosure and possibly part of a no-longer extant timber structure.
    Trench 6 saw a lot of progress excavating the outer edge of the broch wall as well, with the discovery of some new contexts and a possible paved area just outside the wall to the north. A possible Roman potsherd was uncovered by Mackenzie in this area. Stacey and Alex were hard at work sampling contexts, filling out context sheets and making section drawings (a task which they were quite happy to find out will be taken over by Greer tomorrow).
    Trench 8 was the site of some important planning today, as well as lots of photography and section drawing. Jules's section into a possible posthole outside the broch has led to its reinterpretation as a burning layer. Excavation continued on a large stone-packed posthole in the centre of the trench which likely relates to the medieval occupation of the site.
    Further excavation in Trench 9 by Ewan, Tessa and Joss reached the bottom of the outer defensive wall, and the presence of burnt and compacted contexts beneath it will provide us with excellent material for dating the wall's construction. Excavation began on another stone-packed posthole just outside of the wall.
    Looking forward to another exciting day tomorrow!


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