Thursday 9th September
Survey blog by Elizabeth Coleman
Today was a busy day for the survey team as we worked through the rain and extremely foggy weather to finish our survey work before our last day on Friday! We began by visiting the parade ground next to Holyrood Palace and assembling the push-cart magnetometer, doing our best to keep the equipment safe and dry while we did so. We then began our survey of the parade ground, using our magnetometer to collect data about the grounds which can be analysed and interpreted to discover any hidden archaeological features. We spent most of the day this, covering most of the parade ground! Once we had surveyed the area, we concluded our day by heading up Arthur’s Seat to reconvene with the rest of the survey group and examining some potential archaeological features.
Survey blog by Finlay Cormack
On the second last day of our field school we enjoyed a break from the heat of the past few days and began our trek back up the hill in foggy weather. Once at the top we set out continuing our GPS survey of the ramparts on Crow hill. We also used the GPS to map out the enclosure surrounding the space between Crow Hill and the southern slope of Arthur’s Seat. Additionally, a plane table was used to map out a bank on the northern slope of Crow Hill in high detail. A possible roundhouse was also mapped using the plane table, showing how it interacts with the later built bank and a well-trodden path over it causing considerable erosion. A walk over survey was also carried out around Arthur’s Seat, using LiDAR as a guide, areas that could be archaeological features were mapped out.
Excavation blog by Jordan Jacobs
Today marked the final day of excavation for our group before we begin to backfill tomorrow. In comparison to the beautiful weather earlier on in the week, it was very rainy and chilly with fog covering the entire site. The conditions did not stop us from beginning our recording of the site with trench section drawings and filling out the context sheets that correspond with them. Working in pairs and small groups, we took alternating turns to draw until we completed a section. This was followed by learning how to fill out the coinciding context sheets step by step. This was worthwhile as it allowed us to see and record the context changes in the soil. Public engagement was low today which was most likely due to the bleak weather conditions – no views to be seen today! However, as always QR codes were readily available along the fence line in case anyone passing by was interested and wanted to learn more. As the end of the final week comes to a close, we are sad to be leaving the excavation team.