Hidden Heritage Project update

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Dr Colleen BateyA TALK on the Vikings had an audience of over 50 enthusiastic volunteers enthralled in Arrochar on Saturday March 2.

Internationally renowned Viking expert and local resident Dr Colleen Batey from Glasgow University presented “The Vikings in Scotland: Myth and Reality."

The talk was part of ‘The Hidden Heritage of a Landscape — Vengeful Vikings and Reckless Rustlers’ project currently underway under the auspices of the Arrochar and Tarbet Community Development Trust.

Dr Batey explained how Norsemen would go ‘viking’ or raiding to bring back valuable resources to their families. She brought genuine 1,000-year-old Viking artefacts to handle, including bone combs and spindle whorls.

Replica items, including costumes and helmets without horns, were generously loaned by the re-enactment group Glasgow Vikings.

Colleen also entertained Arrochar and Luss Primary School pupils with her Viking knowledge on a day visit to the school.

In addition, over the past two weeks the school children have experienced hands-on lessons in geophysics and surveying with professional archaeologists who visited Arrochar Primary School. Craft activities for younger children have aided interpretation, including making replica Lewis Chessmen and mini-Viking boats.

Older S3 pupils from Hermitage Academy took part in a Walkover Survey and discovered for themselves the ruins of a deserted settlement on the isthmus landscape between Arrochar and Tarbet.

Over 60 adult volunteers have been learning about Geographic Information Systems, the study of Aerial Photography, the ‘science’ of Geophysics, or the healthy art of Walkover Surveying.

Archaeologists from Northlight Heritage have supported volunteers to identify and record over 100 features on the isthmus and there is still another week of Walkover Surveying to go.

The project has a Facebook page, www.facebook.com/HiddenHeritageProject with pictures and for discussion, while the project’s temporary website is http://www.threevillages.org.uk/community-development-trust/hidden-heritage-project/.

A Hidden Heritage project website will be launched soon.