Digging for victory

The team hard at work in Trench 1

It’s an example of all sorts of sectors working well together, and in two days we actually made some finds. This year’s trip to the Dun Deardail archaeological dig in Glen Nevis was as much fun as last year’s. It’s done under the auspices of  the Nevis Landscape Partnership, which is made up of public, private and third sector groups.The digging is carried out by volunteers and it’s run by AOC Archaeology, a commercial firm that knows how to enthuse amateurs, keep them in check (sorry about the over-vigorous trowelling!!) and deal with the public while at the same time carrying out some  good science and investigation. The reason why iron-age people burned hill forts until the rocks within them melted might never be known, but we should at least get a good idea from this dig as to how they did it: the temperatures and techniques required.

Jessica Lumb of AOC Archaeology explains the dig to volunteers from Nevis Partnership

As usual the volunteers were a great mix, from local people who visited the place as kids to expat Aussies to me and some local archaeology enthusiasts and more … the work is often wet and dirty but if as volunteers did you find a rare iron ring, or a piece of slag from a metal-working furnace, you know you are actually contributing something to the big picture. And even just exposing stones that haven’t seen the light of day for 2,000 years or more, the packed earth and charcoal  spills of someone’s home, is continually fascinating.

I will be back next year …