Rhynie, Aberdeenshire

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

Friday, 19 September 2014

September updates

Dr N has been busy this month up in Rhynie working with lots of active Rhynie-ites...Rhynians... (what IS the term for people of Rhynie?!? I feel we should know this by now!) and people from the surrounding area.  You can see updates and more information at the moment on the Rhynie Woman facebook page and www.rhynie.net

A few technical glitches means our archaeological updates are a little delayed but hopefully some news soon.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Rhynie Cist Burial - Date is in!

Our first update based on the radiocarbon dates concerns our fantastic cist burial from 2013.  Since it was in a classic square barrow type monument, we expected the date to be Pictish (early medieval).

We were not disappointed! Thankfully the preservation of the skeletal material was good enough to obtain a date of AD 420-566.  This date works well with our main site up by the Craw Stane, which also has most of its dates in the 5th - 6th century AD.  So, it looks like our community at the Craw Stane was burying some of its dead (in this case a lady) down by the village. 

There's evidence for some other early medieval evidence going on around the cemetery as well including a pit full of burnt material and some possible use or activity in the larger of the two square enclosures.  This evidence is a little harder to puzzle out, so we need to do some head scratching.

A REAP Project update

Well, it is that time of year when normally we would be packing up our kit and heading north or west(depending on which one of us was driving...).
This year we have had a change in our normal work pattern.

We are taking a temporary break from a 'big trench' season this 2014 although Gordon is planning on a series of community test pits and work later on this year (probably September!).  We'll keep you updated on that. I might be able to come up and see some action, but by then I will have a little (probably crying) project of my own to deal with!

We miss Rhynie already, of course, and I can't imagine a summer without a macaroni pie or one of Daisy's amazing baked goods.

In the meantime we are trying to ensure we have a good plan in place and the necessary funding for upcoming seasons and working through or post-excavation analysis and writing up.  As we get news we will post updates and the interim report of our 2013 excavation is just in final editing stage.

Speaking of post-ex...

Our radiocarbon dates for our 2013 mega trench in the Beverly/Medical Centre Field came through.  We have a real range of dates represented and we still need to make sense of some of them, but a post soon to follow!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Some news from the Beverly Field excavation

We've had some preliminary information back from some of our specialists looking at our finds, environmental remains and our burial remains.

First off, it doesn't look like our very fine glass is distinctive enough to be classified as early medieval - Ewan is not willing to give us the thumbs up on that one.  But our two glass beads seem to still be in with a shot of an Iron Age - Early Med date.

Our environmental samples have been looked at and it seems like we've got quite a bit of hearth waste and not much burning of material in place.  We do have one pit (in the smaller square enclosure) that seems to be quite different, which unlike the others, had a large amount of only one type of charcoal from Scots Pine.  We've got lots of good stuff to provide us with radiocarbon dates, so this is our next step to see if we can't determine a timeline for all the different pits, postholes and possible buildings within our enclosures.

And finally, news on examination of our skeletal remains from the cist! Enough survived to determine that the burial is most likely to be a female.  So we might have found Rhynie Woman!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Current Archaeology April 2014

We did it! Here he is - the Rhynie Man as a cover star for the latest issue of Current Archaeology magazine.

We are really pleased we've been given the cover and inside there is a 7-page spread highlighting our understanding of the site so far and all the different things we have done - including lots of community-related information, too.

So stop by your local newsagent or public library and see for yourself! Out now!

Friday, 7 March 2014

A cover star?

Rumour has it a certain pointy-toothed, mullet-headed, axe-wielding fellow will appear on the cover of Current Archaeology magazine's April 2014 edition! 
Keep your eyes on the magazine racks!