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I'm on a year's CBA Community Archaeology Training Placement at Northlight Heritage in Glasgow

Monday, 13 May 2013

Week 4 - Excavations in Arrochar - Week 1 -Creag an't Searraich

The Hidden Heritage archaeological investigation is culminating in a 4 week excavation programme between Arrochar and Tarbet.  We are excavating 1 site per week!  A bit Time-team-esque!  I was a bit worried about training volunteers in excavation and recording, since I haven't worked as an archaeologist for 3 years...however I was relieved to find out it's like riding a bike.  In fact, it was a really nice change to be working with Volunteers on a Community dig than it is working on a commercial site!  Heather, Cathy and I had a trench each to investigate different features of the 18th-19th Century farmstead.  My trench had a suspect looking straight edged plaform running parallel to the earth and stone bank which surrounds the site.  Upon further investigation the 'platform' turned out to be formed by a line of natural bedrock.  However the bank was particularly interesting.  Thanks to Volunteers Derek and Moira for their wonderful pre-excavation planning.  Moira did a great job of cleaning the bank face (as did Lynne (pictured) ). Volunteer Biff and her wee friend Fionnleigh did a great job of excavating a section through the bank to see how it's made up.  Biff, who said she didn't like drawing, was very proud of her mid-excavation plan of the bank, showing both sides.  She said of her drawing - "Oh, it actually looks like what it's supposed to look like!" It had a gorgeous coursed outer face on the N side and then a more earth/cobble face on the S. facing side.  Meanwhile we welcomed many classes of school children to the site and gave all of them a shot at excavation!  It was a great week!  Heather found what we think is the main residence of the McIntyre family and Cathy found a possible second building (but you'd better ask Cathy about that!).  Can't believe we're onto the next site already! In the evenings I'm managing to get out for runs along the isthmus to keep up my underwater hockey training. The views are stunning. I also joined in with Zumba at the community hall and went to speak to one of the pillars of the community - Heather McTavish to try to glean some of her wealth of memories of the Parish over the years.

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