Monday 6th September
Excavation blog by Matt Reid
The excavation team spent the first day of the last week continuing to dig out and cleaning the trenches. A lot of progress was made as we drew and took pictures of how much the trenches have changed. After documenting the trenches, we moved out large stones (likely parts of collapsed stricture), to allows us to see what is underneath. We also found more what is thought to be the remains of a millennium bonfire finding more nails, charcoal and wood. We can clearly see how the bonfire affected the area as specific parts in the ground have darkened which contrasts with the more orangey layer of dirt that surrounds it.
The engagement from visitors to the park have continued to be insightful. I talked not only to people born in Edinburgh but also to people from all the globe including today from France and the USA. We have gathered a lot of data so it will be interesting to look over it after the end of the 3 weeks.
Survey blog by Brigid Golden
The geosurvey team had a busy start to the morning, hiking up to the Salisbury Crags to set up a new 30 meter grid to conduct resistivity readings. These give us some insight into what might lie below the tall grass and topsoil by reading how easily electricity passes through the ground at different points – this tells us if the ground has been disturbed by human activity and reveals the shape of the structures left by that activity. Before lunch, we were able to complete an entire grid! However, our luck turned after the break, as our next grid contained quite a bit of bedrock and thick foilage which made readings much more difficult to get. Needless to say, the pace we set in the morning was not matched and we ended up having to end our day without completing the second grid. We didn’t let this get us down, though! We’ll be right back at it tomorrow atop the crags!
Survey blog by John Strachan
Today we returned to the hillfort on Salisbury Crags. Using the GPS stations to accurately mark points upon a map, we were tasked with continuing our survey of the turf rampart and the stone wall that sits upon it. While this process can be a little painstaking at first, we quickly got the hang of it and covered a fair area in the time allotted. Before taking part in the field school, I had no idea that the rampart was so monumental in scale and walking along the ancient wall and bank one could see very large well faced stones that acted as foundations for the enclosure. We also took photographs of certain areas of interest in order to document the structure, as well as place it in context within the park. The amount of community engagement increased today, possibly because the wall runs very close to numerous pathways. The interest and knowledge displayed by visitors of the archaeology was of a very good quality and the actual process of recording via satellite GPS seemed as interesting to a lot of people as the archaeology itself.