The autumn and winter have been a busy time for us disseminating the broad scope of our recent research work in Scotland, ranging from maritime and coastal archaeology to submerged prehistory. We have spoken to a wide range of public groups, archaeology and historic societies, and specialist audiences.
In late August, we gave a presentation to the Friends of Portencross Castle n the recent coastal survey work in and around Hunterston Sands, North Ayrshire, outlining the range of discoveries made – from Roman pottery to medieval structures. The talk was given on a beautiful evening within the castle itself, and with a very warm welcome it was a memorable occasion.
In early September, at the conference of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA) at the University of Glasgow, we gave specialist presentations on the research undertaken across the British Isles on submerged prehistory covering about 500,000 years.
Professional training has also been high on our agenda, and late September saw the first Archaeological Landscape : Professional Skills fieldschool in Upper Loch Torridon and around Applecross, in the west highlands. The training focussed on investigating archaeological landscapes, early prehistory and geoarchaeology.
In October we were invited by the Ayrshire Archaeology and Natural History Society to talk to them about the wider coastal survey work in the Clyde Estuary undertaken through the COALIE project. The talk was given to a full house in the impressive Ayr Town Hall, and with an engaging question-and-answer session at the end it made for a great evening.
November was another busy month. First we gave a presentation to the Edinburgh, Lothian and Borders Archaeology Conference held at Queen Margaret University, Musselburgh, on the potential for submerged prehistoric landscapes and archaeology in south-east Scotland.
Then, later in the month, WA Coastal & Marine held two breakout sessions at a research framework symposium, Unfolding Argyll’s Archaeological Story, held in Kilmartin, which was attended by a wide range of archaeological and historical specialists. Our sessions were on marine and maritime aspects of Argyll, including early prehistoric landscapes and shipwrecks of all periods; these are important but under-represented aspects of the west coast’s many islands and complex coastline, since earliest times.
Finally, we kicked off 2016 with a talk to Glasgow University Archaeology Society, entitled An Introduction to Marine Archaeology. The fully attended event, on 10th February, outlined various strands of archaeology related to the coastal and marine environments, including shipwrecks, aircraft crash sites, harbours, submerged prehistoric landscapes and a host of other features. With excellent questions at the end, and hopefully some sparks of inspiration for future marine archaeologists, it was a very enjoyable evening.