Tag Archives: Community

Scottish Archaeology Month!


Yes its here, and ready to go…  archaeology Month in Scotland..  known as …   you guessed it.

Scottish Archaeology Month!

Scottish Archaeology Month (SAM) is one of Archaeology Scotland’s best loved initiatives. Through SAM, they aim to make the archaeology of Scotland as accessible as possible to the public through a programme of free events that celebrate Scotland’s archaeological heritage.

There are events for all ages and abilities and even a separate SAM for schools! programme.

This year events include medieval entertainments, stalls and stories at the ‘Medieval Village’, Leven Prom and a chance for kids to join the Scottish Crannog Centre’s ‘Underwater Time Team’ and try out underwater archaeology in the mini tank, while the Principal Curator of Roman Archaeology at the National Museums will take a tour group around one of Scotland’s finest hillforts, Traprain Law. See our 2009 Events Guide for this year’s highlights.

New events will be added to our online SAM Events Calendar throughout the summer.

Scottish Archaeology Month is the sister event of Doors Open Days (DOD), which gives you free access to hundreds of fascinating buildings across Scotland each September.

Together, SAM and DOD are Scotland’s contribution to European Heritage Days, which take place throughout Europe each September. SAM and DOD are supported by Historic Scotland.

I myself am doing three secret events 🙂

But if you want …  come along to the first at the lost chapel of Old Pentland (near Ikea Edinburgh) from 11am on Saturday 12th
This is a great time to be in Scotland and enjoying all the archaeology history and heritage we have to offer!


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Cousland Big Dig : day 4

WEll it was time to fill in trenches 1 and 3 in some severe weather…  but at least I have found that my body is stil up to the task of shoveling spoil and returfing! 

We opened up the castle trench, and have uncovered a rubble layer that stops sharply along a line.  This could represent collapse inside the castle prior to the wall being robbed..  At least we know we should find a castle.  See the picture below!

 Castle trench

 Wednesday is a day of rest!  and the Historian will come in to explain the history behind the place.

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Scotland’s Rural Past – a real resource for community

Scotland’s Rural Past


 Scotlands Rural Past

After my rant about lack of resources, I have been prodded and poked about some excellent resources!…   some are better than others…  but this one stands out – I wish I had been able to take up a position with them, as they are leading the way…    I can see few (if any) to match them!

It has all you could want…  an excellent website that helps…  yes HELPS!  with easy guides, links to resources…  and downloadable forms, templates and even a form that allows projects to be automatically uploaded to the RCAHMS!  just how good is that…  it has a real forum…  and photo competions..  …  oh I could go on.    

have a look at this for example – only a small part…..

How to take part
Doing Getting going
Doing research
Doing field work Survey
Notes on recording
Digital Images
Submitting data

Field Monument Identity
Photographic guidance
Writing a site description
Glossary of terms
Raising awareness

Heres the section on Recording


Making accurate and consistent documents of what you discover and interpret in the field is an essential part of creating a good record. To help you do this we have produced a field recording form and guidance notes which will enable you to collect all the vital information necessary to update the RCAHMS database. The guidance notes take you through how to complete the recording form, including sections on how to write a site description and definitions of the different types of site you are likely to encounter. We have also created an on-line form which will enable you to submit the data you collect to the RCAHMS database, where it will make a real contribution to our knowledge and understanding of these sites and help preserve them for the future.

So there you go…  I tip my hat….   a template and a standard to match!

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Community Archaeology – Healthy Scene or Deathbed Gasp?

Current Archaeology   The latest Current Archaeology has an opinion on Community Archaeology which is pretty damning … however BAJR quite agrees with most of it… though I did smart as I am currently working on 2 (organising one!) and am getting into training and other advice… including making templates for “How to…. ” get money OR find tools OR carry out a survey etc…… where are the resources…. etc

But its funny…. I gave a donation to a society (and it turned out my donation was the largest they had that year … even HS gave them less! So how can the clubs survive, when there is little support…

Where are the FLOs for Digs? In Scotland we have the wonderful Helen Bradley, Adopt-a-Monument Officer from the CSA who has to cover the WHOLE of Scotland – but brings valuable help to groups…


Why not 5 or 10 of her? Why not more archaeology in the classroom? what about building communities with archaeology/heritage/natural resources… actually use archaeology for something positive?

Not just to mitigate for a development, but to be part of a community soul?

Last weekend, we field walked, washed, recorded, geofizzed, dug and researched… over 70 people turned up.. and more are coming for the Easter Big Dig… many are coming over the winter to learn survey and dig and draw etc etc….. new skills ! An they love it… absolutely love it!

And so do I….

I looked at the CBAs Community Archaeology Forum – a great idea… however..


The Latest News is October (2 months ago…)

There are only 13 projects

Two finished in 2005, one was last updated in January 2006, many pages don’t work some are quite good indeed… however… you find there is only 10 actual groups involved… and spread across 2 years and the whole of the UK it is a bit …. Er…. Small?

I started a list of Groups across the UK… but felt I did not want to get in the way of the CBA site.. but I can tell you.. I could collect around 2-3000 groups! Some only 5 people others with hundreds!

So we have the desire… we have the people, we have the potential …. But where is the support… the cash? The templates? The resources?

Oooooooooo eck…. Can I feel a BAJR Crusade… have I found a new direction??There are people ot there doing lots of work, there are projects going on…  but how to find them, how to finance them and how to start them?  

 The intake of British archaeology students is down…  the chances to learn before is vague..  Mention it and people say…  ” oh..  theres lots going on”…  So I say where?   When, who can get involved…

Sarah McLean had the best idea with UK Archaeology Opportunities..  sadly the site was hijacked so don’t go there!  She has indeed been in touch and given me some useful pointers… 

Past Horizons is trying to fill the gap…  but people have to know its there..  it has to be publicised and beyond that…  people have to step forward and say…  This is going on here…!

The article leaves a lot (and I mean a LOT) to be desired in checking facts… however .. being the glass half empty person who wants to find out how to make it full… I stand by several points that are made.. albeit clumsily…

And rather than attacking County Archaeologists it should look to the real causes.. the lack of funding for HERs, the reliance on goodwill to get projects going, the lack of information available to simply explain to a group, WHO to talk to, HOW to carry out work, WHERE to get funding WHO will help, HOW to report.. etc etc…..

Let’s get it moving…
Read the Current Archaeology … give us an honest view…. Shooting for the stars?… or p##sin in the wind?

Go beyond the initial reaction and look at the reality… 


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