Cobbled Street By Building, High Morlaggan
Historic rural life on the shores of Loch Long has been unearthed by a pioneering and award-winning group of dedicated volunteers, who took part in an archaeological dig during some of the worst November rain on record! The first phase of excavation of the deserted settlement of High Morlaggan was completed in November, 2009. An incredible 110 people, aged from 7 to 70, visited the site during the excavation. Just over 100 community volunteers actually dug. These included children from the local primary school, kids from two young archaeology groups, and young people with learning disabilities - as well as many interested adults.
A couple of motivated local residents, Sue Furness and Fiona Jackson asked archaeologists from Kilmartin House Museum to run the dig, which was funded by Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in conjunction with Scottish Natural Heritage. The High Morlaggan Project started from small beginnings, yet, at the end of February 2010, will be receiving the Robert Kiln Award for the best archaeology project in the UK run by a voluntary group or individual. The award and a presentation of the project will take place at the Archaeology 2010 Conference at the British Museum in London. Sue and Fiona said: "We are amazed by the response. We wanted to raise the profile of the many deserted settlements that are scattered throughout our countryside. People don't give them a second glance as they are so commonplace, but they represent the heritage of thousands of Scots throughout the globe."During the excavation, the Project continued its traditional partnership with Head Teacher, Alison Palmer and the children from Arrochar Primary School. Pupils dug in trenches and washed, drew, measured, and recorded finds. On the dig, hundreds of sherds of pottery from the 1800s were found, along with metal tools, a pedestal pot, clay pipes, a cauldron (probably dating to the 1600s), and possible evidence of earlier dwellings.
An event to learn about High Morlaggan is to be held at Arrochar's new Three Villages Community Hall on Saturday March 13, 2010. There will be young people's activities from 2.30-4 p.m., including fun with clay and Gaelic singing. A report on the excavation will be presented by an archaeologist from Kilmartin Museum at 7.30 p.m.; refreshments will follow. Come and discover for yourself the actual finds and revelations from the dig. ALL WELCOME!