It gives us great pleasure to declare the project officially open begun! What a busy weekend it has been at Castlehill Heritage Centre. On Thursday night we formally launched the project with an evening lecture. Castletown Heritage Society (CHS) Vice Chairman Neil Buchan opened proceedings by introducing the background to the project and its aims. AOC’s Graeme Cavers then talked us through the methodology behind LiDAR and demonstrated how it can be used to highlight and identify new possible archaeological features, as well as giving a brief overview of Bronze Age archaeology and outlining the structure of the summer school. AOC’s Charlotte Douglas then outlined other opportunities for engagement, including evening events and weekend workshops on pottery, wattle and daub and prehistoric foods and cooking techniques. Following the talk, we chatted over tea and biscuits, and Charlotte and Graeme were happy to be reunited with some old friends who have previously participated in public projects in the north. We look forward to working with you again this summer! Thanks so much to CHS for hosting a great event.
On Friday, Castlehill Heritage Centre travelled back in time with the aid of James and Sally-Anne of Ancientcraft. The weather was somewhat temperamental so James and Sally-Anne set up a prehistoric style shelter made of woven willow panels (you can find out how to make these in September! Check the events calendar in due course for more info) and animal skins inside the Heritage Centre. This set the scene, and was complemented by an impressive array of replica tools and other artefacts, many of which experimental archaeologist James made himself. As part of the workshops James demonstrated flint-knapping, and the speed and efficacy with which he could make a useful tool such as a scraper for processing animal hides was just amazing. Over 50 pupils from Castletown Primary School participated in Ancientcrafts’ workshops and went back to school fired up to learn more about the prehistoric past; their first response was to look up ‘Ötzi the Iceman’ online, although apparently they felt that he did not live up to the high standard set by James! Praise indeed. Thanks very much to staff at Castletown Primary School for bringing their pupils along, and to the pupils themselves for being so enthusiastic and asking such great questions.
James was on hand again on Saturday, when over 60 people came to Castlehill Heritage Centre to learn more about the past. Thanks very much to everyone for coming along, and thanks especially to James and Sally-Anne of Ancientcraft, who delivered a really unique experience which was enjoyed by all.
AOC’s Graeme and Charlotte took the opportunity on Friday morning to nip out and have a quick look at some of the possible hut circles that were newly identified in the LiDAR data, and they are just wonderful! Really substantial features that will make for an exciting programme of training, survey and excavation. We can’t wait to get started with the fieldwork.
There’s so much more to come – make sure you don’t miss out on following progress by subscribing to the blog via the sidebar on the homepage, or give us a ‘like’ on Facebook (Castlehill Heritage Centre and AOC).
NB We are just finalising the last details for the weekend workshops in August and September. July’s pottery workshop with Potted History is proving very popular so if you want to come along, do get in touch ASAP to avoid disappointment. More details here.