Learning about the past at Black Hill

The excavation at Black Hill                                                         (Photo Glasgow University)
The excavation at Black Hill (Photo Glasgow University)

A Bronze Age cairn and an Iron Age settlement were among the discoveries made during archaeological excavations at Black Hill this summer.

The work was carried out by students and volunteers.

There was also an open day to let the public find out more about the archaeological excavations that have been going on around the National Trust for Scotland viewpoint above Kirkfieldbank since the beginning of August.

Visitors were shown around the site by Glasgow University archaeology students who had been working along with volunteers there.

They were guided around various discoveries, including the cairn and the settlement, and were able to handle artefacts found on the dig in a pop-up museum.

This was the first time this well-known prehistoric site had been excavated, and those involved described it as “an exciting opportunity” made possible by the Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership and Northlight Heritage, a charity which is part of the York Archaeological Trust, along with sponsors Historic Environment Scotland, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the university.

Site director Adrian Maldonado said: “In partnership with Northlight Heritage, students are learning not only how to dig but also how to tell the public about what they’re doing and why it’s important.

“They created posters, arranged site tours and developed a social media campaign as part of their archaeological training.

“We’re extremely proud of their efforts, and we hope they will go on to careers which will benefit society as a whole through the study of our local and national heritage.”

The excavation has concluded, but the project hopes to carry on next year.

The landscape partnership has also been involved in archaeological excavations with volunteers at Castle Qua Cartland Crags, just outside Lanark, this summer.