Excavation by Annika Larson

On our second day of excavation, we continued working on the small sections of the trench to expose more of the wall. Excavating around an area we think is related to Millennium celebration bonfire we uncovered nails and shards of glass, as well as a piece of what looks like charcoal. We also took turns learning how to use a planning frame to draw a plan of a section of the wall, which we will need to know how to do next week so that we can record the full extent of what we will have excavated.  

Although the weather wasn’t as nice today as it was yesterday, there were still many curious visitors (including a little dog that got through our fence and ran through the site!) asking us questions about what we were doing and using the QR codes to learn more about the project and the archaeology of Holyrood Park. 

Survey blog by Garion Adams

Today we set about surveying sections of the hill fort that runs along Salisbury Crags, the weather was mercifully cold as we carried equipment up the slope. From there we set out grids using Pythagoras’ theorem to accurately create a 30m square to survey. Then we began to use a magnetometer to plot and survey the ground inside the square every half metre so we can map the resistance of the soil and plot places of potential interest for further study. This simultaneously had the effect of creating lines in the wild wheat that resembled a well furrowed field (like mowing a lawn!).

Whilst one team of four worked within the grid, a second team of two worked on mapping the erosion of the nearby pathways and outlooks from the crest of the crag. We mapped these onto the lidar data as well as indexing them for later study. Overall, the day was another fulfilling day of not only learning valuable skills but also appreciating the park and its landscape – today enhanced by echoing bagpipes from a gifted hiker in the park’s valley.