Rhynie, Aberdeenshire

Rhynie, Aberdeenshire
The Craw Stane with Tap o'Noth hillfort in the background (Photo courtesy of Cathy MacIver).

Saturday, 29 June 2013

A nice Pictish suprise

We had suspicions by yesterday, but did not want to jump the gun... However, after some heavy duty cleaning  of the site today by a fantastic team including lots of great volunteers (Diane was back, Alan and Thomas joined us as well as Fred and some Aberdeen associates), we are convinced that we have at least one Pictish burial monument.  What we think we have is a square barrow - these are smallish square features made by a thin ditch, which often have gaps at the corners.  There might have been a low mound over the interior covering the burial.  These types of monuments are found throughout the Pictish areas, but some of the best examples can be found in Angus and Perthshire.  There are rare upstanding barrows in Inverness-shire.  The kite photo shows them (as well as our fantastic large enclosure and its internal features), but they are hard to see.  If you look in the bottom right corner you should be able to make out one smaller square feature and another larger one just above it.  We're very excited because of course this means we do have Pictish activity in the trench.  We can't say exactly when they date to as they are quite a long-lived burial rite - anywhere from the 6th to even 9th century AD.  We still don't have any diagnostic finds from our other features, but we have not really begun excavating yet - we have been mostly cleaning and planning today.
Oskar's kite photo from today showing the large enclosure and group of pits near the entrance and in the bottom right a smaller and a possibly larger Pictish period burial monument.

It's almost 11pm and I haven't even showered after coming back from work yet since we've been so busy -  and there's a disco (!) tonight in the hotel - so I'll have to make this short so I can go throw some Rhynie-Man shapes on the dancefloor (or maybe not...).

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