As Collections Trainees we tend not to deal directly with archaeology in the conventional sense. We do, however, get to work with the archives created by archaeological units. We recently worked on the material created by the programme of excavations and buildings recordings for the Upper Forth Crossing in 2006 by Headland Archaeology Ltd. The Upper Forth Crossing is now known as the Clackmannanshire Bridge which links Falkirk to Clackmannanshire.
A typical archaeological archive consists of items such as photographs, slides, drawings, reports and site notes. Before cataloguing the Upper Forth Crossing material deposited at RCAHMS we organised the archive into order by project and area. We then worked our way through the deposited material separating the different types of media and re-housing it.
While doing this we also read through some of the reports and site notes to get more information on the projects to add to the catalogue entries and to get a better understanding of the excavations for the crossing. We found the investigations into the remains of Garlet House, Kilbagie were particularly interesting.
Garlet House was a 17th century house for a local Laird which had been demolished in 1964. Looking through the photographs in the archive we could see the progress of the excavations. Before the excavation the site looked like an overgrown field, but very quickly the house was uncovered.
As the dig progressed some of the features of the house became visible again.
To find out more about the site we looked up the site record for Garlet House on Canmore and we were able to see some of the images of the house prior to demolition and compare them to the photographs taken on the excavation in 2006.
Through the archaeological archive and the images and plans held at RCAHMS we were able to get a sense of the development of the site from its original design to alterations through the years, even after its demolition.
This is what I’ve chosen for Day of Archaeology, but why not tell us your favourite archaeological sites in Scotland on Twitter using #MyArchaeology.