Archaeology – Tay Landscape Partnership Tay Landscape Partnership History, Environment, Conservation, Heritage & Craft Fri, 20 Jul 2018 10:12:58 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Moredun Top Dig 2017 open for booking Wed, 21 Dec 2016 15:41:31 +0000 Moredun Top dig 2017 is back for the third and final year excavating the complex Iron Age Hillfort. The dig runs from Tuesday 25 April – Saturday 20 May. In the last two digs we’ve found a possible Dun or Broch, part of shale bracelets, quern stones, a pivot stone, gaming pieces, stone lamps, beads and other evidence of occupation.

We’re looking for volunteers to join us through the month to help with the digging, no experience necessary as training will be given on site. Diggers days are Tuesdays – Saturdays, first day must be Tuesday or Friday for site induction and we ask for a minimum 2 day commitment. Free archaeology skills passports are available on request. Minimum age is 16 yrs.

The booking system is an online questionnaire using this link Email or hard copy versions also available from Lindsey. Spaces will be allocated at the end of every month so please don’t worry if you don’t get a response for a few weeks, I will be in touch.

Here’s what our volunteers had to say about last year’s dig:

‘As a first time volunteer I now have a far greater understanding of the Perthshire iron age history and how archaeology contributes to this.’

‘The ‘hands on’ approach ensured we were fully involved in all aspects of the dig’

‘New learning experiences but above all it was fantastic fun!! ‘

Once you’ve booked, if things change and you can no longer come please do let us know as it’s really important we know how many people we have on site each day as this effects how we run the dig.

Any questions please get in touch

Lindsey Gibb

TayLP Volunteer Coordinator (Tuesdays & Wednesdays)

01738 477086 



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Abernethy’s Wee Big Dig – weekend summary Wed, 15 Jun 2016 15:18:50 +0000 What a weekend! We were very lucky with the weather and the sun shone all day! Thanks to all the volunteers, diggers of all ages, the amazing Museum of Abernethy and everyone who joined us and supported the weekend – we hoped you enjoyed it! A full report of the archaeological findings will be online in due course but here’s a summary of the weekend supported by Aoc Archaeology  for those of you who couldn’t join us.

Secret Dig on Deads Lane
Secret Dig on Dead’s Lane

Friday 3rd June:  School’s out for digging!

Our fab wee diggers were first in the trench on Friday with P5 and P6 from Abernethy Primary on site. There trench was 3m x3m in an unused piece

of land off of Dead’s Lane and the hope was to find some Medieval remains that help unravel the story of this village at that time.  Our diggers worked hard and it wasn’t long before the first interesting bit of archaeology appeared – an old wall with lots of loose stone and broken slate, as well as various sherds of Victorian pottery and clay pipes. Four groups of school children tackled this trench and made an impressive dent in it before packing up! When not digging the children were learning about coats of arms and recreating their own from natural materials.

Well done Wee Big Diggers and thanks for your help!




SatAbernethy WBD 2016 George Logan(c) (42)urday 4th June:  Wee Big Dig Open Day!

After a great start from Abernethy Primary the Wee Big Dig was off and running! Two community trenches (Dead’s Lane and Williamson Hall) meant plenty to dig and discover for everyone, as well as Pictish Warriors in the village, lots happening at the Museum including free Stone Carving,  Coffee Morning and more!  Another sunny day and we found some fantastic sherd of medieval pottery, particularly some early 12th Century white gritty ware close to the Williamson Hall.






View of Deads Lane trench from top of Round Tower
View of Deads Lane trench from top of Round Tower


Sunday 5th June:  Guided tour tours and more archaeology! 

Another busy day in Abernethy with more digging around the village. This time we visited four private gardens and excavated a total of five new trenches.  The majority of finds from the new trenches were later than medieval and included Victorian pottery frags and clay pipe bowls.

The Museum was busy with guided tours up the Round Tower with Adrian Cox from Historic Environment Scotland. These were very popular and thanks to Adrian for giving his expertise on the day.


A big thanks to all the volunteers , supporters and our funders for making this happen. Roll on 2017 !

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Abernethy Wee Big Dig – Free event Sat 4th and Sun 5th June! Mon, 23 May 2016 14:00:23 +0000 Join the Wee Big Dig poster 2016_generalM2016_WHATS ON LEAFLETuseum of Abernethy and TayLP for a weekend of archaeology! Saturday the 4th is the main open day – with free stone carving workshops, living Picts, archaeological digging, free family fun, coffee mornings and loads more!

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Forteviot Pictish Stones: Project update Tue, 13 Oct 2015 11:19:01 +0000 TayLP are pleased that the stones are now on display at the Hunterian – a big thank you to the Forteviot and Aberdalgie Kirk Session and all those who made it happen. You can visit the stones at the free Cradle of Scotland exhibition at the Hunterian in Glasgow and next year it will be coming to Perth Museum!

As part of this work the stones were 3d scanned by Glasgow Digital Design Studio to provide a high quality archive of the stone detail as well as an outreach and education tool – the animations of which are now on our YouTube  channel- We hope you like them!

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More done at Moredun! Sun, 04 Oct 2015 10:13:18 +0000 A huge thanks from all at TayLP and Dave Strachan from PKHT to all the volunteers for the tremendous effort everyone put in over the month on Moredun. Thanks also to the AOC Arcaheology team for their support.

Over 2,300 hours, or 300 volunteer days went into the project – by far the largest single volunteer event we’ve had to date. As you know, we’re already excited about the results…and while these will take a while to come to fruition, we’ll keep you informed by email and websites etc. You can see photos from the dig on our zenfolio page and in the slideshow below – more will be added as we get them!

If you have any good photos you would like to share on the gallery send them in to Sophie –

Did you miss the dig? Check out our dig diary for details as they were discovered!


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Festival Pictures from UNEARTH! Sat, 12 Sep 2015 09:48:27 +0000 First off, thanks to everyone who came to UNEARTH and to all the volunteers who helped on the day. We had a really fun time and we hope you did too! We thought you might like to see some of the photos from the day and for those who missed it, get a flavour of prehistory coming alive in Perth! Thanks to George Logan for his professional photography  which we think is brilliant!

All images copyright of George Logan (c)

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Can you dig it? YES YOU CAN! Wed, 08 Jul 2015 09:35:28 +0000 Be part of the first ever archaeological dig on one of Perth’s most iconic hillforts! Join us on1st – 26th September, no experience required though good general fitness important.

Register your interest in taking part and visit

Moredun Top general poster

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Forteviot: The Birth of Alba Wed, 12 Nov 2014 12:05:59 +0000 Stone2_Front

Conservation of Pictish Symbol Stones: Forteviot Church contains eight exceptional fragments of at least three Pictish crosses that originally stood outside in the local landscape linking with the famous Dupplin cross now conserved in nearby Dunning Church. Although important to the local community, they have been at risk for more than a decade as result of their current location: the floor of the church porch. Working in partnership with the church session, the sculptures are being conserved and will then be mounted and displayed within the church. Interpretation for local, national and international visitors will tell the remarkable story of the Picts and the birth of Alba, medieval Scotland.


DSCN0084Before the stones are returned to the church in summer 2016 they are part of the SERF exhibition and opened the European Association of Archaeologists meeting in Glasgow this September. You can visit the exhibition at the Hunterian –







The TayLP also commissioned Glasgow Digital Design Studio to laser scan and record the carved stones – follow the link below to view them on Youtube.

A second strand of the Pictish Stones project is to create a new “inspired by” stone to celebrate the remarkable story of the birth of the early medieval Scottish nation and the import role that two key sites within the TLP area, Forteviot and Scone, had in that process. A professional stone carver will work with schools, community and visitors in creating a new stone for Forteviot, inspired by the strong Pictish culture and their symbolism in this area.

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Field walking:  Looking for Lithics Wed, 12 Nov 2014 11:59:34 +0000 Fieldwalking2_TayLP
Ready, steady fieldwalk!


Local communities, school children and other volunteers are helping with an exciting field walking project. This archaeological survey technique helps find traces of the first people to live in our area, including, hopefully, stone tools.

The TayLP area is arguably the dominant geographical feature of the Tayside area: where the rivers Tay and Earn meet the estuary itself, and would have offered the first settlers of the Mesolithic a variety of rich resources that would have been highly attractive, but also powerful links between land and sea, along with the major terrestrial routes radiating from the Perth area: Strathtay, Strathmore and Strathearn. From earliest times these river valleys, or straths, have connected highland and lowland and put the area at the heart of Scotland’s east coast geography.

Post Glacial Shoreline

Using a study undertaken by Dundee University as a starting point we are looking at sites in relation to the Postglacial Sea Level, the shoreline of which may have been exploited by our early settlers.

Interested in joining us in the search? Check out our field-walking methodology below for more information.




Early_Settler_Project Design (DW comment)





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Abernethy: Discover and Explore Wed, 12 Nov 2014 10:33:36 +0000 AbernethyAbernethy is of huge historic importance and the Tay Landscape Partnership team would love you to help uncover its past. The story begins with early prehistoric activity, then Iron Age and Roman, including the suggestion of a bridge of Roman boats across the Tay at the nearby fortress of Carpow. The area’s key sites connect the warlords of the Iron Age, through Pictish kingship, to early Christianity and the origins of medieval society in the area: the hill-fort at Abernethy law, the Pictish stone and early medieval round tower, the early monastery and later priory. The Pictish Chronicle records that King Nechtan reigned from here in the 5th century, and links him to the foundation of a church at Abernethy, testified by an early dedication to St. Bridgid, and the subsequent Culdee monastery and Augustinian priory of 1272 AD.

We are working closely with the local community to deliver this project, including the fantastic Abernethy Museum and primary school.

Abernethy WEE Big Dig 2016!

Another fantastic community event. A massive thank you to all of the volunteer diggers, the brave landowners, the museum and the whole community for making the event such a success!


Abernethy WEE Big Dig!
We are looking for budding volunteers to help carry out a Big Dig in and around Abernethy. Have you got a garden that you would be happy to excavate a 1m x 1m trench, with the help of professional archaeologists? This project will allow a peek at what lies beneath your feet and secrets of history that are yet to be discovered!  Training in archaeological techniques and recording will be given. We would love you, from kids to adults, to get involved!

Contact Sophie at

We are working with AOC Archaeology and you can follow the blog on this project here!

For some of this years’ Wee Big Dig photos check out our gallery!

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