Another day, another load of great big history to share with visitors to Stirling Castle. Once again YAC members and parents came to help their beloved leaders to spread the archaeological word. Kathryn, Lee and Olivia all did sterling work (sorry).
It was a really hectic day; much busier than Saturday. We really could have done with more space and a few more boxes of archaeological goodness for folk to poke about in.
By 16:00 we had been visited by about 300 people, making the total for the two days just a little over 500!
Today people were trying on the chainmail, attempting to lift the replica Bruce sword and excavating and then un-excavating our medieval bones and pottery bits.
Lots of young folk were collecting stickers for their Heritage Hero passports. They had to complete four activities, including an archaeological dig, to be awarded a Heritage Hero certificate. The folk on the Archaeology Scotland stand provided us with stickers to hand out, and we had pretty much run out by the end of the day. It was a great idea and really encouraged families to try out a range of activities.
Kathryn and Olivia took the chance to explore the house. They best remember the barrel-vaulted kitchen, with its massive fire-place. It had been rebuilt of stone in the 16th century after the original, wooden kitchen had burnt to the ground. It is kitted out with replica jugs and bowls and other kitchen equipment to give an idea of what it had looked like in the past. Olivia was disappointed not to be able to pick up the knives that had been glued to the chopping boards. Kathryn, on the other hand, was quite glad.
There were people from all over Scotland at the launch who had helped to pilot the awards. Some folk talked about the projects they had run. They included a cool project in Kilmarnock. Seven school children had researched the lives of men from the local railway-works who had fought in World War 1. The research was used in museum displays and even to produce a book.
Mark talked a bit about the Dunfermline Abbey graveyard project and a school project he had helped with at a local primary school. Olivia had participated in both projects. She talked about how she had come to join YAC as a result of getting involved with the school project. Olivia was cheered when we realised that she is probably the first person in the world to get two Heritage Hero awards.
Kathryn and Olivia rounded things off by first cutting and then eating large amounts a celebration cake. Olivia found the fondant covering a little too sweet and thick, but enjoyed the sponge. Kathryn just ate and enjoyed it. Mark, inconsiderately, spent so much time, gassing that Kathryn and Olivia had to drag him off without even trying the cake. What a shame.
However, we had good soup in the castle café, enjoyed the fog and had a look round the gift shop. Olivia bought postcards and soap for her mum while Kathryn bought a fancy, medieval catapult, pencil sharpener so she can ping things at her siblings. It works well. Mark wasn’t allowed to buy anything.
It seems like a long time ago now, but between the 21st and 23rd of October Dunfermline YAC was incredibly busy: digging in the graveyard, receiving awards and helping out at Archaeology Scotland‘s AGM in Dunfermline.
Graveyard Dig – Day 20
Alexander, Caelan, Erin and Michal joined us for a couple of hours working on the dig today. It was pretty miserable weather and a session that demonstrated well that archaeology isn’t all fun! After a good half an hour of clearing fallen leaves, we finally got down to the exciting task of cleaning rubble for recording, before we dig through it. We also probed on the other, eastern side of the low markers that we are excavating against. There is definitely stone close to the surface, but we are guessing that it is simply more rubble rather than gravestones. We hope that there may be older gravestones below the rubble.
Graveyard Dig – Day 21 & Archaeology Scotland AGM
A long, busy and rather proud day; as most Dunfermline YAC members were presented with their well-earned Heritage Hero awards at the AGM. After a morning indoors of talks, activities and a rather nice lunch, we headed down to the graveyard to do some work and also share the dig with Archaeology Scotland members on a wee tour of Dunfermline.
From the perspective of the dig we actually got quite a bit done: planning, opening up a new rubble trench, talking to visitors (including AGM attendees) and getting cold. A good day I think.
Graveyard Dig – Day 22
Back to normal this afternoon. More leaf clearing followed by planning rubble, finding rubble, cleaning rubble, digging rubble and playing with the mud. I think the latter activity was enjoyed the most.