Goodbye Howburn, the end of a great project

Goodbye Howburn, the end of a great project.

Howburn Excavation Final Update for Fieldwork

Monday 27 July 2009

The dig is over and what a result we have achieved.

Proof positive is now available for Scotland’s earliest known community in the Hamburgian period of the Late Upper Palaeolithic; this is in the form of dozens of diagnostic flint tools.

The Keddie family all the way from The Netherlands show off their finds

The Keddie family all the way from The Netherlands show off their finds.

For BAG, another very important aspect of this project has been the formation of a new community of voluntary archaeologists. At the outset we realised we needed help and so we advertised and invited the world to participate in what was a unique opportunity to literally touch the past of the most ancient inhabitants of Scotland, and touch it they did, from children to adults, everyone found some of the ancient flint and some of the luckier ones handled tools such as tanged points, long and short end scrapers, burins, piercers, cores and much more for the first time since the end of the last ice age.

Visitors from Canada enjoy Scottish archaeology with our own Alick Walkinshaw

Visitors from Canada enjoy Scottish archaeology with our own Alick Walkinshaw.

Strangely we had no professional archaeologists along to help and very few university students, a rather missed opportunity we believe, however, over one hundred and fifty individuals did come, some for a single visit while others came on repeated occasions. We have had people from Newcastle, Carlisle, Glasgow, Edinburgh and just about everywhere in between. Visitors including children from Bosnia, Canada and The Netherlands have helped with excavation. Many new friends have been made in the process, we are indebted to them all.

Denny Dudds sorting the last of the Howburn finds ready for specialists work on them.

Denny Dudds sorting the last of the Howburn finds ready for specialists work on them.

What now?

Well, things don’t just stop at Biggar Archaeology, we are already well on the way with a temporary display of the Howburn finds, this will be in the Moat Park Heritage Centre in Biggar. Only a tiny selection can be viewed but these will give a good idea of what the project was all about. For some reason this will be the only display of such material in Scotland and the exhibition will be ready in a few weeks. We will announce its opening on the website.

Sandra Kelly puts the finishing touches to a reindeer display in the Moat Park Heritage Centre

Sandra Kelly puts the finishing touches to a reindeer display in the Moat Park Heritage Centre.

An interim fieldwork report is in prep and will appear on this web site soon and we shall also be including a picture gallery of the project and some of the finds for your interest.

It only remains to thank everyone who participated in any way towards the great success of this project, without you it could not have happened, well done and congratulations.

Jacquie Dryden of Marketing Matters updating the BAG web site which she manages.

Jacquie Dryden of Marketing Matters updating the BAG web site which she manages.

Previous Excavation Updates

Monday 20th July – Our last weekend

Monday 13th July – Final few weeks

Sunday 28th June – Further 3 tanged points discovered

Thanks to Contraflow Traffic Management

Sunday 7th June – First 100 meters completed

Saturday 17th May – Weekend number three, several Paleo tools found

Saturday 2nd May – A great turnout for the Howburn Excavation