Rhynie, Aberdeenshire

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

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Racing to the finish..

We'll be finishing up work this week on site.  The mad rush of finishing features and recording them is well under way (with the joy of backfilling looming large in the near future). 

The inner ditch sondage has been completed - almost single-handedly by Irving with some help from Jasmin.  The sections tell us a story about how they attempted to stabilise the ditch with layers of turf as it filled in. 

Work in the outer ditch sondages progressed rapidly in both trench 1 and 2.  Yesterday a massive dump of metalworking waste was uncovered in trench 2 quite far down in the ditch.  Over 100 fragments of clay moulds were uncovered and many of these were of exceptional quality. We are sitting now with torches and magnifying glass trying to get to grips with the range of objects that were made. Trench 1 also continued to produce finds of metalworking moulds and crucibles.

One of the real highlights today and of the entire dig has nothing to do with artefacts.  Today the puzzle of how they constructed the outer palisade/wall walk type structure was revealed.  At the base of a very deep thin trench we found the ghosts of planks and posts preserved more clearly than ever before.

The grey shadows of squared planks set at the edge of the palisade with large posts set behind.
We have been puzzling over the palisade construction for years.  The sheer scale of the size of construction and the skill and effort taken in making the wooden planks and posts for this structure is astounding. 

We only have one full day in the field left, but we are extremely satisfied with our work this year - so many great successes and a lot of 'firsts' for Pictish archaeology. 

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