Bringing the past alive

Bringing the past alive – Archaeologists ’ visit to local primary school near the new Inverness West Link Road

On Friday, archaeologists responsible for monitoring construction of the new Inverness West Link Road visited a local primary school to tell the children about their discoveries. Presenting to the students were two local archaeologists, one of whom was a former Lochardil Primary School student, from AOC Archaeology’s Inverness Office.

“We want to show the children a different perspective of the landscape where they live. Their school sits overlooking the location of the new road and will undoubtedly improve transportation where they live,” said former Lochardil student and archaeologist Lindsey Stirling. “We hope the students will come away from our visit seeing the landscape as it was in prehistory – part of an active settlement from at least 5,000 years ago – one that would have selected this location probably because of its good ground and transportation links along the river and through the glen.”

The archaeological work undertaken during the construction of the new West Link Road has been vital for identifying the remains of the town’s ancient past, in a part of Inverness where almost no previous fieldwork had been undertaken. The group’s findings include remains of circular roundhouses, a burnt mound, and extensive clusters of activity representing prehistoric settlement. Pottery, stone tools and flints analysed so far have been proven to date from the early to middle Neolithic period, around 4,000-3,000 BC. A grain-drying kiln, destroyed by fire and rich in barley, former stone field boundaries and a stone-built well represent some of the finds from later periods on the site.

“Our fieldwork and analysis is important to provide a greater understanding of Inverness’ past. While we knew of antiquarian finds in the area, previous development did not consider the presence of archaeology, so the new development is a real opportunity to learn about our past,” added archaeologist Cathy MacIver. “It’s always amazing to work with young people and we’re grateful for the opportunity to tell them directly about the results.”

The archaeologists provided a presentation to the students about their work during the West Link Road construction, including photographs from the fieldwork and their finds. The children also had an opportunity to look at artefacts from the period.

The visit to Lochardil Primary School was arranged by AOC Archaeology’s Inverness office and Wills Brothers contractors on behalf of The Highland Council.

18 Nov 2016
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