Excavation blog by Callum Hamilton

On our group’s final day of excavation, we began our day by continuing with our section drawings of the trench and filling out the respective context sheets to go along with them. In small groups we took turns drawing so that everyone had a try at drawing all parts of the trench as some areas were more difficult than others. Before lunch, we learned how to take a tin sample from a trench in order to see the context changes in the soil.

Community engagement remained high at the site and to increase this we placed sheets around the fencing with a QR code that directs members of the public to the Holyrood Field School website if they want to find out more. This was a positive addition as it was quick and easy to use.

After lunch, we finished off our drawings and then learned how to take appropriate and effective photos of sections of the trench. After taking photos of the trench, we were taught how to use Pythagoras’ theorem to create a trench outline when GPS technology is unsuitable or ineffective. We finished the day disinfecting the tools ready for the other group to use when they begin excavating tomorrow.

Survey blog by Thomas Cameron

Today was the final, full day of surveying before we switched over to do excavation and so we had finished the majority of the work that we had been doing around the Dunsapie Fort. Again, we split into two groups with one going off to do more geophysics and the other group carrying out a walk-over survey of some other sites and potential areas of interest around the park. I was in the walk-over survey group, using the LIDAR survey to find areas that might need further attention and walking over them to try and see whether the map matches up to what is actually on the ground. Once we found something significant, we recorded it by taking photos of the feature, writing up a description of it and information about its location and potentially using a GPS to mark out exactly where it was, if possible. The advantage (and occasional disadvantage!) of the LIDAR scans is that they can cut through vegetation and show the ground, which is fantastic until the feature you are trying to find is in the middle of loads of gorse! We did this in the morning on the eastern side of the park and then went up to a fort on Salisbury Crags did similar work up there.