The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Summer Excursion this year took place in Glasgow on Saturday 9 June. As well as visiting the Govan Stones in Govan's Old Parish Church and the Glasgow Museums Resource Centre, Fellows of the Society were taken to GUARD Archaeology's Office and Finds Laboratory in Glasgow, to find out about the types of projects we are involved in, see some of the finds currently being studied and learn how these artefacts are being analysed.
Aileen Maule, GUARD Archaeology's post excavation coordinator, led the group of Fellows on a tour around GUARD Archaeology's Finds space, explaining the workings of a commercial archaeology company.
Bob Will, GUARD Archaeology's post excavation manager and medieval pottery expert, was on hand to explain the medieval finds he has recovered from his excavations of Paisley Abbey Drain, undertaken in collaboration with Renfrewshire Local History Forum, Paisley Museum and Historic Scotland.
Iraia Arabaolaza, one of GUARD Archaeology's osteoarchaeologists, updated Fellows on the results of GUARD Archaeology's Human Remains Call off Contract for Historic Scotland, showing three fine Bronze Age beakers/vessels recently excavated from sites across Scotland.
Warren Bailie, GUARD Archaeology's battlefield archaeologist, talked to the visitors about GUARD Archaeology's many recent and current battlefield archaeology projects, including Flodden 500 in the Scottish Borders and Northumberland, the Battle of Pinkie site outside Edinburgh, The Great Escape site in Poland and a World War II site, Mount Saint Quentin in France. Roman Conflict archaeology projects related to The Antonine Wall and more specifically Carzield Roman Cavalry Fort in Dumfries and Galloway were also discussed.
Christine Rennie, a field archaeologist with GUARD Archaeology, demonstrated the method by which GUARD Archaeology sort soil sample residues in order to maximise the artefactual and environmental record from each site we excavate, so that we can better understand and contribute to archaeology in Scotland.
Beverley Ballin Smith presented some of the Viking finds from the Udal settlement in North Uist, which she is currently studying. While hot from the dig, the finds from Trusty's Hill, excavated through GUARD Archaeology's collaboration with the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society for the Galloway Picts Project (which was partly funded by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland), were laid out for the Fellows of the Society to see. Dr Ewan Campbell, from University of Glasgow's Archaeology Department (and one of the academic referees for the Galloway Picts Project), was on hand to explain to the visiting Fellows the significance of the artefacts and how these demonstrate that Trusty's Hill was a royal site within early medieval Scotland.
Thanks to everyone who was involved in organising this successful event.