The park was closed due to the passing of Her Majesty the Queen, so the students had a short break from excavation at Dunsapie Fort. We returned to site today and students were excited to continue the excavation of their trenches. We now only have 4 days left of digging, so have lots of work to do!

Elise’s Experience:

Today, some of us were introduced to OSL dating, this was conducted in both trenches 1&4. We were visited by Richard Richard Tipping from Stirling and Tim Kinaird from St Andrew’s University, who explained the process to us. Richard has researched the cultivation terraces on Arthur’s Seat and Tim has taken pollen cores from Dunsapie Loch previously.  This method of dating is used to measure when a sediment was deposited. We can work out when a layer was last exposed to light or heat and at what point it became shielded from both. After exposure to light, the sediment is effectively bleached, resetting the signal that it emits, therefore it is important to keep the area shielded whilst the samples are taken. In these trenches, some of the students took samples from the sections whilst underneath a tarp, so that the samples weren’t exposed to the light. We hope that once these samples are analysed, we will have a good indication of the age of the deposits in some of our trenches.

Nerea’s Experience:

After having stopped for a couple days, it was good to be back on Dunsapie Hill to continue our excavations of the hillfort. In both trenches 7 and 8, the team cleared the soil by trowelling in order to get a better understanding of the rampart and the bedrock. In addition, everyone got the opportunity to learn about photogrammetry by taking photos and having an explanation on how to register it. We took a series of photographs around the entire trench and at different heights, which will be meshed together to create a model of the banks and ramparts in these trenches. We have also begun to section areas of both these trenches – we worked on a smaller area of the trench. We hope that excavating these smaller sections will help us to expose the bedrock in some areas, as well as giving us more details about the structures. By excavating smaller areas of the rampart to a greater depth, we hope that we will find datable evidence for the ramparts! In trench 2, the trench was also sectioned, and stones removed to find bedrock. In this trench, they found a whetstone, which was used to sharpen objects!

4 Day Challenge!

Now that we only have four days left to excavate our trenches, we are filming a ‘Time Team’ style video of the final Push! Check out the videos here! Follow along on our last few days on site on our instagram and twitter!