One of our returning students, Victoria, has a background in plant chemistry and is very interested in the botanical aspects of surveying an archaeological site. It was so interesting to hear her thoughts on the types of plants in the area and what may have been done to the land in the past to promote particular plant growth today. Not only that but she was able to identify plants which were introduced to a settlement site, a non-native herb; this gets my imagination going on the types of small kitchen gardens these 18th century homes may have had in these rather remote highlands.
Overall, it was a great field season despite the midges and the drizzly weather which plagued the better part of the two weeks. We managed to survey a fairly large area of the Tay Forest lands to the south of Tummel Bridge and we finished with a stretch on the Atholl Estates east of Dalnacardoch. We had our fill of drains, ditches, quarries and culverts and I’m pretty sure Team 3 who were out with me at Craig on the last day has had enough of field clearance cairns for a bit. But we were really able to get an idea of what was happening in this Clune’s Lodge area, which is super exciting and interesting for us. This area has it all!
It was a busy last week with Ian’s public lecture at Pitlochry Town Hall on Thursday to a record turn-out; and we had a great day of visits on the last Wednesday, when we went to Ruthven Barracks, Newtonmore Highland Folk Museum and finally Killiecrankie Pass.
Well, this is turning into a much longer post than I had planned on, but there was so much going on this season that I wanted to touch upon. This project continues to supply more interesting information and it feels quite exciting to add to the overall understanding of the area with each feature surveyed. I can’t wait to get back next year! For now, Ian, Dan and I are sweating away in Cyprus, working on the University of Manchester’s excavations at Kissonerga-Skalia (check it out here). It certainly makes for a change from the rainy, chilly Highland days we had a week ago. Check out HARP’s new Instagram account @harparchaeology and we’ll try and post up some pictures there as we go.
Next up for HARP are our excavations at Kildavie on the Isle of Mull! Check it out on our page here. Also, if you’re interested with more to do with HARP, and particularly supporting some of our projects, check out the ‘Support Us’ page on this website.
I think it may be time for a Keo!