Monday, 12 August 2013

Experimental Archaeology

I was lucky enough to catch an experimental archaeology event when I was in Arran at the start of the summer holidays. It ws organised by the Arran Ranger Service with Northlight Heritage, the Arran Brewery, and more. I don't think it was particularly well advertised, but that would be my only real criticism of what was a fantastic event. It was fairly quiet, probably as a lot of folk locally didn't seem to know anything about it, but that added to the experience for me in a way - especially during the day - as it meant you got the chance to see things really clearly, spend lots of time without being rushed, and chat to the archaeologists.

I don't know whether the archaeologists themselves would have preferred it busier - presumably that varies as some were happy to chat and explain what they were doing whereas others seemed to prefer to just get on with their experiements in 'bringing the past to life'.

Anyway, it was a great event and I'd highly recomment to people that they should attend events like this if they get the chance.

They build a post circle in the grounds of Brodick Castle, below Goatfell. I hadn't realised previously, but these would have been very common around Scotland at one time, and in fact there is apparently evidence of post circles on Machrie Moor, presumably predating the well-known stone circles there.

Machrie Moor stone circles
The post circle, the first to be erected in Arran for over 4000  years.

Some traditional 'tools' were used to dig the post holes, although I believe modern tools were 'resorted to' as well.

The circle with Goatfell towering over it.  Later in the weekend it would be set alight...

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