Find out what the experts have been discovering about the remarkable Lair spindlewhorl in the finds report, now available in the report section of the website.
The 6th and final season! Sign Up Now!
We're excited to announce that Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust and Northlight Heritage will be returning to Lair for a final season of excavations on the early medieval Longhouses this June! The dig will be running for two weeks from the 6th to the 17th and we need your help. Just as in previous years, archaeological excavation is only made possible by a small army of volunteers so we need your help. If you think you have what it takes to be a Glenshee Digger then sign up using the form below. We look forward to welcoming you in June.
We're back on site for our 5th season!
The turf's been lifted (and used to build our very own turf wall!) and this year's dig is underway. Come visit us to find out how we're getting on. There's no need to book - we're open between 10am and 4pm from now up until the 1st of July, apart from the diggers' days-off on the 26th and 27th of June.
This year the dig is focussing on the remains of the huge longhouse (some 20m long!) we trial trenched last year. We aim to shed some light on whether this building - one of the largest of the group at Lair - represents a single fermtoun building or successive individual structures, and to find out about its function. Was it used entirely as dwelling-house or as a house combined with a byre? Were specialist functions of smithing or other types of craft production going on?
The dig is located at Lair, Glenshee, some 8 miles north of Bridge of Cally on the A93. There is some parking at Grid Ref NO 1419 6365 but if this is full, please use the Cockstane carpark a little further up the road. Hope to see you over the next fortnight!
Rare opportunity to make (and paddle!) a traditional Scottish fishing boat, the coracle or Curragh in a joint venture run by willow artisan Jane Wilkinson and Alyth Craft Tourism. Coracles are skin-on-frame boats, which, along with dug out canoes were the earliest boats ever constructed, dating back to neolithic times. They were used as recently as the 1960s by local folk on the Tay and Esk. For more details, visit: http://perthshirecreates.co.uk/2016/02/coracle-making-course-at-alyth-craft-tourism/
Radiocarbon dates are back for last year's season! We’re getting 7th to 9th century dates for the complex turf building excavated in June 2015. Dave Sneddon at Northlight Heritage comments “Whilst these date ranges seem broad, there is an argument for all three buildings looked at by the Glenshee Archaeology Project to be broadly contemporary and certainly not separated by great lengths of time”. More analysis to follow… but for those who are really interested – here’s the SUERC report!
The University of Aberdeen is seeking a PhD candidate to study the “Houses and Households of the Eastern Picts”. The Pictish longhouses at Lair, and the focus of the Glenshee Archaeology Project, are one of four key sites that will provide the archaeological evidence for this PhD.
The PhD aims to develop our understanding of daily life among the Pictish peoples of Scotland through examining occupation deposits of their farmsteads and houses with a variety of archaeological techniques, including soil micromorphology, chemistry, and magnetic susceptibility.
PKHT looks forward to working with the successful candidate in the near future!
For more information about the PhD, visit http://www.abdn.ac.uk/cops/graduate/phd-vacancies-347.phpl
Over the last couple of years I’ve been in touch with Dr. Alex Fleming of St. Andrews University who is working on a project titled Scotland and the Flemish People. Alex explains in his excellent blog that it is known that there was considerable settlement of Flemish people in Glenshee from the 1600s onwards and that the superb ruined fermtoun of Easter Bleaton (see the aerial photograph gallery) is believed to have had Flemish connections – partly as oral tradition in the glen suggests this… something confirmed to me through conversations with people in the glen. I thoroughly recommend at this material and hope our project might be able to contribute to this theme of work in the future.
In 2014 we commission place name expert Peter McNiven of Glasgow University to research the origin of the placenames in Glenshee and how they have changed over time. The fascinating results are included in his report here...interestingly only one placename appears to have a Pictish origin (Persie, see page 41). Peter did reveal however that the later gaelic speakers did associate many of the natural features and existing archaeological sites in the landscape with Fin mac Cumhail (or Finn MaCool), the hero of gaelic legend! Read on...