Rhynie, Aberdeenshire

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

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Mould Magic

First off a massive thank you to everyone that came out to support us and Rhynie Woman at the ceilidh last night.  We jigged, we jagged... we stripped a willow or two. It was a great night!

And now to mould magic...

It can be difficult to explain to people why we get so excited about moulds as sometimes they aren't much to look at.  Almost all the moulds we have found have been clay two-part moulds.  These types of moulds have to be broken to get out the metal object, which is why they are in fragments.  Since they are 'one use only' objects, the clay is not fired as hard as when making pottery, usually, which also means they fragments can break down and decay more easily than pots.  Despite all these issues, we have amassed a great collection of moulds.  Most are for the shafts of pins, probably to hold clothing.  The most exciting moulds show us the pin head, which helps us identify what type of pin it was.  We have to be very careful with the moulds as too much handling or brushing can break or remove the detail.  Once in a while we get a real gem without too much handling!

This morning a lovely mould emerged. The mould looks to be for an early type of handpin, one of those quite rare types of pins for early medieval Scotland. 

Proto handpin mould.

Today was our Open Day and we had lots of interest from visitors until the rain poured down during our lunch break. Thankfully most of us were off site having our lunch and the rainclouds parted after a while and the afternoon was fantastic for digging.

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