Just a quick post as we are busy getting ready for our Jacobites, Clearance and Scots project, starting tomorrow!! I am super excited about this project! Last year, with our excellent teams, we managed to identify and record around 350 sites!! These ranged from small, single drains or culverts, to larger homesteads and townships. I think by far and away the most regularly occurring site type was the quarry. I am sure the students could record a quarry in their sleep by the time we were finished our two weeks of field survey.
Not surprising perhaps since we follow the line of General Wade’s Military Roads through the highlands, and it takes A LOT of stone to make a level road. These 18th Century roads were so well built and well-placed that in many areas the modern road now runs right over top of the old road. Last year we spent a lot of time in the Calvine area, just west of Blair Atholl, and we will be returning to that area to finish off bits and pieces. We are very lucky that we have amazing support from the Atholl Estates (amongst other very positive landowners) to continue our work on their lands.
Our non-invasive walk-over survey is intended to identify sites of archaeological or historical interest, and has proved to be very productive. Last year, we were lucky enough to have wonderful sunny weather (something I am keeping my fingers crossed will happen again this year). But for those days were it’s less than dry, we are once again staying in the luxurious Forest Lodge on the Atholl Estates which is a lovely 18th Century hunting lodge – quite in fitting with the theme and feeling of the fieldschool.
Well, as we round up the supplies and pack our waterproofs (hoping for the best but preparing for the worst) we are looking forward to what this season will bring! Stay tuned! We’ll be posting up pictures on facebook and we’ll post up here again before the end!