Rhynie, Aberdeenshire

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

Monday, 22 August 2016

Update: Crucible Kings and Pin Princessess

Rhynie 2016 is well under way and we had our first visit from Rhynie Primary today. Our two teams - 'The Archaeologists' and 'The Picts' - did a bit of detective work with aerial photography, got a first hand look at the amazing finds we have on site so far and got their hands dirty in Trench 5 doing a bit of trowelling back and sieving.  Wouldn't you know it they found TWO flint flakes in the topsoil?!? Those keen young eyes...

The big developments over the past few days have been the number and quality of finds.  Since we started excavating features, the finds have been popping up all over the place.

Highlights include numerous crucible sherds - largely found by Curtis and Lewis in the outer ditch.  Crucibles are small clay pots used to melt precious metals like bronze for making items such as pins and brooches in the Pictish period.  To complement all those sherds we have a potential crucible stand and a growing number of moulds for pins and other objects.

Possible stone crucible stand.

Not to be overshadowed by the lads in the outer ditch, Vicky became our first pin princess by finding a lovely fragment of a copper alloy pin.  The pin looks purposefully bent or broken and is reminiscent of a bent nail-headed pin from the site. 

A few sherds of amphorae have also emerged, but this year the focus really seems to be on metalworking debris (at least so far!).

The big find of the day was also the most delicate - a lovely rim of a glass drinking vessel. Roland (looking unimpressed apparently) was heading towards Gordon with glass in hand when Dr GN started the dance of joy - Daniel said it made his year! This adds to our small but important collection of fine glass drinking vessels. 

We should be having an open day on Sunday this weekend so keep your eyes posted on the blog and the Northern Picts facebook page (for those that do that sort of thing!).

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