Thursday 27 June 2013

Updates from the end of Week 2

St Serf's

Trench 04 is now down to the medieval subsoil.
It took us over a week to get through the modern midden and structures in Trench 04, and we are now well into preserved, possibly medieval layers. The finds we are getting at our current level are fragments of medieval redwares, white gritty ware (12-14th century) and some later green glaze, but they are all quite abraded fragments so we are still in what are essentially garden soils. Here's hoping they are sealing earlier features!

Meanwhile, in Trenches 05 and 06, we have found out a lot about the modern history of the village, especially the impressive feats of early modern engineering that reclaimed land from the riverbank. Trench 06 extends from the churchyard wall down to the Dunning Burn and shows that most of this area is actually made ground postdating the modern embankment of the river. And all done without the help of JCBs!

The 19th-century embankment wall and our trench through the made ground reclaimed from the ancient riverbank.

Kay Craig

The massive outer wall of the structures at Kay Craig.

Excited update! The bedrock wall face we extended the trench to investigate has turned out to be a wall after all! Alex uncovered courses of faced stone under the large bedrock chunks with lovely wee chock stones packing the gaps between the wall and the bedrock face. Now we are uncovering this fully to start to investigate its relationship to the structure on the top of the hill.

Open Day this Sunday!

Don't forget to swing by Dunning for our Open Day this Sunday June 30th! See our previous post for more details.

Wednesday 26 June 2013

SERF Open Day this Sunday!

Here is the line-up of events taking place on the SERF Open Day this Sunday June 30th!

  • Open Day at St Paul's Church Hall, 11am-4pm: Here you will find stalls, photos and artefacts from our excavations around Dunning and Forteviot, including Roman finds from Castle Craig Broch. Learn about the ongoing Dunning Big Dig and see some of the finds from this year so far!

View Dunning Saint Pauls Church in a larger map

  • Leadketty guided site tours, 12pm and 2pm: come see our ongoing excavations at the prehistoric cropmark complex near Dunning. Meet at St Paul's Church Hall, and please note there is a 20-minute walk to and from the site, which is not wheelchair-accessible.

  • Churchspotting: how to read a medieval church: St Serf's Parish Church, 10:30am and 2pm: This guided tour led by Dr Adrian Maldonado will show you how to spot the medieval origins of a church, using the architecture and sculpture of St Serf's as an example. Tours will be roughly one and a half hours and take place in the churchyard and include a visit to our ongoing excavations outside the churchyard wall.

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Curving wall found at Kay Craig

Iron Age? Medieval? Structures begin to emerge beneath the rubble at Kay Craig.
Today at Kay Craig we continued to expose the wall on the top of the hill, most of the inner face within the trench is exposed now and we finally discovered part of the outer face. We can now say that the structure wall is approximately 1.2m wide and curving. Sexy! The possible wall lower down the hill we were investigating with the trench extension is probably the remains of a boundary or enclosing wall that parallels the structure on the top. We will continue to excavate the probably medieval/early medieval layers tomorrow and hopefully see if anything earlier lies beneath!

In other news more early Iron Age pottery was found in the ditch as well as a substantial layer of tumbled stone from the structure.
Supervisor Cathy MacIver is excited.

Monday 24 June 2013

Week 2 kicks off

Kay Craig

Bec: This week started out with a scary weather forecast of heavy rain that would decrease as the week went on. However we only suffered a few showers on Saturday, this has allowed us to make good progress on the excavation which in turn has allowed us to understand the site better.

Up in Trench 2 a possible burnt post has been discovered along with a drystone built structure and a possible hearth. To get a better understanding of the size and shape of the structure we have extended the trench downslope to investigate a possible outer wall face. In Trench 1 we are exploring the ditch and rampart and hopefully by the end of the week we will have a clearer idea about the period of our site and what has happened when. You can find out more by visiting the village hall in Dunning on Sunday to see our stall at the project open day.

Andrew is excited.

Stop Press! We bring you breaking news of a new find on site today. Andrew spotted a possible metal heating stand - probably used to heat precious metals. This was found in the layer of stone tumble inside the structure so hopefully we will find more evidence of this activity on site over the next few days as we remove the baulks. Here is a photo of Andrew looking excited (and one that actually shows the artefact). More hillfort news soon! :)

The possible crucible for heating precious metals. Excitement!

The Dunning Big Dig

Also kicking off tomorrow is the Big Dig II, where the SERF team will once again venture out across the village to dig test pits in back gardens across Dunning. Find out about last year's Big Dig results here, or drop by the Wee School for daily (except Friday) drop-in sessions and see what we've been finding. We will also be hosting an Open Day in the Village Hall this Sunday. Get involved!