Thursday, 31 July 2014

Archaeology Talk Tonight

On Tuesday, when we visited this tent, set up in a field at Swordle Bay, Professor John Robb of Cambridge University was just beginning to expose the remains of a 3,600 year old body, curled up on its side in a stone 'cist' coffin.  There are rumours that he's unearthed more bodies.

Come and hear the latest news at a talk given by the Ardnamurchan Transitions Team at 7.30 this evening in Kilchoan Community Centre, entrance free.  Then, on Sunday, there's another Open Day at Swordle, 10.00am - 4.00pm.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Regatta Starts Tomorrow

With the main yachting events in this year's West Ardnamurchan Regatta taking place tomorrow - details here - competitors have been honing their skills out in the Sound of Mull.  With such keen competition each year, crews have been pushing their boats to the limit - and a bit beyond.  Fortunately, this skipper is quite used to capsizing - he did it several times in last year's races - so he soon had his boat back on an even keel.

Kilchoan Fives Tournament

Despite the rainy downpours, the Kilchoan men and ladies teams plus our three visitors from Motherwell Ladies and other keen volunteers gathered on Saturday afternoon for a fives tournament. Four well matched teams were created to fight for some wonderful prizes which were kindly donated by Motherwell Ladies FC and their team coach Charlie.

Congratulations to team Orange, who were the overall winners of the tournament. This winning team comprised of local legends Justin Cameron, Calum MacPhail, Rosemary Curtis, Katie Cameron and Peggy May Chapple.

Can anyone who borrowed kit please return it to either Justin Cameron, Rachael Haylett or Kayleigh MacGillvray. We train at 6.30pm on Wednesday evenings at the Community Centre pitch.
Many thanks to those who came along and played, Amanda Gane for taking charge of the scoring, and Kayleigh MacGillvray for her amazing organisation skills. 
Special thanks to Pammy, Linda and Natalie from Motherwell for travelling to Kilchoan for the tournament!

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Leslie Anne

The fish farm feed boat, Leslie Anne out of Stornoway, travelling west from Loch Sunart today.  She's operated by Ferguson Shipping, a division of Ferguson Transport.

Picture from Kilchoan Early Bird, with thanks.

Archaeologists at Swordle

The archaeologists who come every year to Swordle on Ardnamurchan's north coast have now been here for more than a week, with many of them camping in the field by Swordle Byre.  The Ardnamurchan Transitions team were the group who found the Viking boat burial here in 2011, the first finds from which were recently displayed at the British Museum.

We went to visit them this morning, to find most of the team working in the field immediately to the east of the burn.  Their first site is on the neolithic chambered cairn called Cladh Aindreis, where they have permission from Historic Scotland to excavate part of the area in the foreground of this picture.  They've worked here in previous seasons.

The cairn has a long 'tail' of rocks which runs away from Cladh Aindreis towards the NNW - this picture is taken from the cairn looking towards their second excavation site.  They have permission to remove the topsoil and expose the structure of the 'tail' in what will be the largest excavation they've carried out in their years of coming here.  They are allowed to move any rocks which are evidently not 'in situ', but they cannot excavate the  structure without further permission from Historic Scotland.  This is a shame as....

....they have already exposed what is probably a small cist - in the foreground of this picture - in which there is a good possibility that there may be a burial.

Just to the west of Cladh Aindreis is another mound which they excavated in 2010 which they called Ricky's Cairn.  They knew it contained a bronze age cist, part of which they have excavated, finding a skull which was dated to 1650BC.  The rest of the cist is being excavated by Professor John Robb of Cambridge University who is an expert on bones - which is just as well as he is currently revealing the bones of the rest of the body, curled up in the foetal poison on his/her side.

There are so many exciting things going on at Swordle at the moment that the RAF sent a plane to investigate - which twice came in very low across the site.  Fortunately for us, access to the site is easy, with an Open Day this Sunday and plenty of opportunity to join the excavation.  There's also a talk about the site in the Kilchoan Community Centre at 7.30 on Thursday evening - full details here.

The Ardnamurchan Transitions Project's website is here.