Day 5 of the Galloway Picts Project. The hottest day yet. And one of the most exciting. Excavation of Trench 5 across the western rampart of the fort produced a pottery sherd, that looks like part of the rim of a bowl, and which may be African Red Slip Ware. This type of pottery came from Carthage and dates to the sixth century AD. It is very rare in British, let alone Scottish Dark Age sites, the early Christian monasteries at Whithorn and Iona being the only other Scottish sites we can think of. It not only indicates that Trusty’s Hill was inhabited at the same time as when one would expect the Pictish Carvings to have been made (ie 5th-7th centuries AD) but it means that very high status people in post-Roman Scotland lived here. It’s early days but perhaps we might be discovering the evidence to show that Trusty’s Hill was a stronghold of the Dark Age Kings of Galloway.
Day 4 of the Galloway Picts Project – Perfect weather and great company. It has been hard work but most enjoyable. Finds today include part of an iron javelin head, another nail from the vitrified rampart, a possible brooch and more bone and charcoal. Can’t wait till tomorrow and more finds.
Another sunny day on Trusty’s Hill, it’s just like digging in the Algarve! It was quite a busy day on site with the folks in trench 4 exposing the vitrified rampart on the east side of the fort and those hard-working folk in trench 5 (where I was digging) exposing the vitrified rampart on the east side. The collapsed rubble probably from an internal wall was also uncovered in trench 4 which corresponds with the findings from Charles Thomas’s dig in 1960. The rubble from the collapsed stones from the vitrified rampart in this trench also produced an iron nail head, which is the first evidence of metalwork to be found on site. Trench 5 produced a small, polished pebble with three circular peck marks on its surface and several small fragments of burnt animal bone. Progress has been really good which is great because we have had quite a few visitors to the site including a reporter from the Galloway Gazette. Maureen
Another wonderfully sunny day on site. Trench 5 is progressing nicely while trench 4 was expanded to the south. The spoil from both the trenches is being sieved and the finds recorded. We had our first piece of evidence for prehistoric occupation of the hill today – a nice piece of flint left over from tool making. Trusty’s Hill seems to have been a popular spot for a long time. Another good day with an enthusiastic team of volunteers. We look forward to continuing our excavations tomorrow and uncovering more of the story of the hill, hopefully with more excellent weather.
After getting all our equipment up to site, we began work on the first two of our trenches. Having surveyed them in, the whole team pitched in with the deturfing of Trench 4, and teamwork was rewarded with the discovery of a possible whetstone some vitrified stone fragments. Work then started on Trench 5 which was also deturfed. Back in Trench 4, we began to dig into the backfill of the previous excavations, and sieving of this material produced more vitrified stone and some bone. A good day with a great team and lots of sun! Beth
Our training day got underway this morning at the Mill of the Fleet, with 30 local participants attending. A lot of interest and fantastic questions from the group. From the reaction we had on the site tour in the afternoon, we’ll have an exceptional group of volunteers. And best of all…it should be sunny for most of the week ahead.
The field survey team from RCAHMS have just finished preparing a new plan of Trusty’s Hill, following their topographic survey of the site over the last few weeks. This is the first modern survey of Trusty’s Hill and will be incredibly useful for our excavation. So well done and thank you RCAHMS!’