As many Crier readers will be aware the two Pictish stones, which have been lying on the floor of the Museum for the past 15 years, were taken away in October for cleaning and conservation. This work has now been completed by Richard West, a very experienced stone conservator based in Selkirk, and the Museum’s Collection Management Group are delighted with the results. The stones are now mounted upright on plinths, with LED lights directed onto the stones in order to enhance their markings. To accompany the stones we have a new display board providing information about the Picts, focussing on Abernethy and our own Pictish stones. In addition we have taken the opportunity to have the stones digitally scanned by AOC Archaeology, resulting in the production of 3D virtual models of the stones along with detailed digital files for our archives. Some of the digital images and models are available to view on the Museum’s website: www.museumofabernethy.co.uk
We have also been able to use TayLP funding to employ two students to undertake the time-consuming task of transcribing some of our oral history recordings. During the course of the 2016 season we hope to be able to upload further excerpts from these recordings onto the Museum’s oral history hub.
By the time you are reading this edition of the Crier our second Wee Big Dig should be underway. This year it is taking place a little earlier, to coincide with Perthshire Archaeology month, on 3-5 June, with Friday 3rd June as a focus day for school pupils to take part in the digging of some trial pits in the centre of the village.
On 4th and 5th June the Museum will be open from 10 – 5 and we will be running events with a Pictish focus. On Saturday this will include the highlight of a stone carving workshop with Susheila Jamieson, where visitors will have the opportunity to use tools and mallets to carve Pictish symbols in relief on lightweight block. During the morning the Museum’s Social Committee will be running a coffee morning in the Williamson Hall, where other activities with an archaeology focus will also be taking place.
During the Wee Big Dig Open Day on the Sunday visitors are invited to follow a self-guided trail to visit some of the digs, and there will be opportunities for you and your family to have a go at digging too. Running alongside the excavations, activities in and around the Museum and the Round Tower will continue. For further information about the weekend’s activities see posters around the village, come along to the Museum, or visit either of these websites:
The Tay Landscape Partnership has reached the half-way point in its four year programme, and all of us involved in the Museum are delighted with the way in which the Museum and the village have benefitted from TayLP support. Additional activities are planned for the next two years, including an archaeological dig on Castlelaw in 2017.
Watch this space!