Landscapes Forum > Welcome to Bennachie Landscapes: Investigating Communities Past and Present at the Colony Site

Starting this month, Aberdeen archaeologists alongside members of the public will begin further investigations at the Colony site. Supported by a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, our work this year will be targeting a number of the Colony farmsteads to discover how life on the hill compared and contrasted. In addition to learning about the historic community that once called the ‘mountainside’ home, we’re hoping to develop the archaeological skills of our present community partners and to encourage them to lend a hand interpreting the evidence. This is what we call co-produced research!

Last weekend saw the kickoff of our first activities at Burnside farm, despite the continuing cold. With a view over the babbling Clachie Burn, we laid out a large site grid for shovel test-pitting and commenced a plane table survey of the surviving ruins. The artefacts gathered from the test pits will hopefully allow us to look at differences across the colony, and how these compare with other sites in the area. We will extend this method of investigation across the site. The plane table survey is an older method of recording that requires only basic survey skills and confidence enough to wield a pencil. It may not be as accurate as some GPS surveys, however, it requires one to train their eyes on the feature in question and to make interpretive decisions; ultimately crucial for understanding the site history.

While the snow continued to linger on Bennachie, our small group of volunteers made the first necessary steps to get the project off on the right foot – and we look forward to a year of new discoveries!

This forum is a venue for anyone who would like to contribute to the Bennachie Landscapes project; reflections on our community investigations along with information or ideas related to the project are most welcome.

Jeff Oliver
Principal Investigator, University of Aberdeen

April 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeff Oliver