There were more than a few stares and scratching of heads last week when well known Civil Engineering contractor Murphy started to erect a circle of timber adjacent to the entrance to the Strathearn Campus !
This was in fact the culmination of much work , talk and discussion following the discovery in 2011 at Pittentian near Crieff of what appeared to be a timber circle of great antiquity . It had been identified during a survey in advance of the construction of the Beauly to Denny power line which was scheduled to bisect the Strath transmitting power to the Central Belt .
Thanks to the funding provided by Scottish and Southern Energy , Northlight Heritage undertook a detailed excavation on the site which lies approximately half a mile east of the Campus and the ancient Cursus unearthed during its construction .
One of the problems when dealing with archaeology of this vintage is that in most cases there are no physical remains left to see in the aftermath of the dig .In the case of both the Cursus and the timber circle , awareness was highlighted by involving both Crieff High School pupils and the community generally in an event held as part of the Perthshire Archaeology Month . The project archaeologist , Ally Becket of Northlight Heritage and his distinguished colleague and Cursus expert Dr Kenny Brophy of Glasgow University involved the pupils in preparation for an event held last June in the Campus .Thanks to the sponsors and the backing of Campus leader Christine Ross a very positive outcome was achieved .An enthusiastic audience enjoyed a fascinating and informative discourse from both culminating to a visit outside to inspect the pupils’ work ! To quote the report by Ian Hamilton ,Chairman of Strathearn Archaeology and History Society :
“Several dozen white buckets used on digs, and two lengths of nylon rope, were laid out to replicate the circle's post holes and the line of the cursus to the south of the school. The buckets were laid out on a rugby pitch, marking the outer ring of posts (c.23 metres in diameter) and the inner ring (c.14 metres in diameter), and other significant post holes.”
It is so important due cognisance is taken of the importance of such discoveries . The generosity of Scottish and Southern Energy in funding the recently erected circle is a step in this direction . Much more is still to be achieved to reflect the significant importance of these finds in Strathearn .