Rhynie, Aberdeenshire

Rhynie, Aberdeenshire
The Craw Stane with Tap o'Noth hillfort in the background (Photo courtesy of Cathy MacIver).

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

More metalworking evidence

A fine sunny day on site today.  Lots of paperwork was completed and post-excavation plans done.  We are now trying to make sense of some of our more complex areas such as the structure near the Craw Stane.  Last year we were pretty sure we had a building here because we had several post holes and even found a spindle whorl.  However, we didn't have time last year to investigate much further into the structure and we planned on making it one of our big questions to answer for this year.  So we have been cleaning  back in the area trying to define the edges of the building.  At the moment it looks like it has rather a rounded end to it, but the other end is elusive.  It is placed right at the possible entranceway to the outer ditch of the site so it might be more of a gateway rather than a house-type building.

Since the weather was so nice, we had lots of visitors today.  This included William and Calum from the North of Scotland Home Education Group. Cathy took them around the site and showed them our finds and then put them to work! They did some sieving and helped us trowel (with a little help from some of their chaperones).

Cathy (in green) puts our visitors to work cleaning back over the inner ditch.

The other features on site are still in progress. Liam is doing well in his palisade trench, even though the edge of the feature is tough to see.  Jeremy has almost completed digging 'the blob' feature, which seems to be part of the Pictish recut of the outer ditch.  Harriet has also started working on a different 'blob' (very technical term!) that appears to cut the outer ditch, too.  Sharon's palisade post hole continues to go down and she has found numerous animal bones in the fill.  It seems like the post was burnt then possibly removed and the leftover hole was crammed full of burnt material, animal bone and finds associated with metalworking.  The metalworking tongs were found in this post hole higher up, but today Sharon found a very nice almost complete piece of a 2-part clay mould.  This would have been for fine metalwork like copper alloy.  We aren't exactly sure what it was - it looks like it might be a small mount or stud with an 'X' shape, which could have decorated something bigger.  Who knows what the final few days will bring?! We're looking forward to some more visitors tomorrow and I'll head over to Rhynie primary school hopefully in the morning since our visit last Friday got rained off.

The mould that Sharon found in the palisade posthole.

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