Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Ancient History and Heritage of Strathearn Begins to Be Recognised





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 .



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