Local archaeological finds on show

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Archaeology Society logoLOCAL people will have the chance in July 2016 to look at some fascinating finds made by members of the burgh-based North Clyde Archaeological Society in their quest for relics of days long gone by.

Their searching has been rewarded with some fascinating finds, and the society will be staging displays of finds made during recent excavations and field-walking surveys, the first on Saturday July 9 at Cove Burgh Hall and the second at Helensburgh Civic Centre in East Clyde Street on Saturday July 23, both from 11am-4pm.

Chairman Tam Ward from Rosneath said: "The aims will be to show the public direct evidence of past human activity in the area, ranging from the times of our remote forebears through to the Victorian era, and to give a flavour of some of the ambitions of the society.

“Historical records can take us so far, but sometimes it is only through archaeological work that we can catch a glimpse of how and where people were living at one time, and — vitally — what they were doing in their day to day lives.”

Some of the oldest material to be displayed has been obtained by the process of field-walking, where the turning over of the ground through agricultural and forestry activities has thrown up signs of man’s early presence.

The slopes of Ben Bouie above east Helensburgh have provided artefacts of flint, pitchstone and cannel coal, none of which occur there naturally, and which must have been taken there by humans.

Material like this implies the presence of prehistoric man on our doorstep, although it is evidence which can so very easily go completely unnoticed and remain unknown.

By far the greatest amount of material to be on display, however, is more recent, and stems from the single biggest dig yet carried out by the society last autumn and winter at Millbrae, between Rosneath and Kilcreggan.

Set amid the slopes of a commercial forest, the site was once that of an extended cottage, latterly consisting of two households.

While written records suggest there was occupancy from about 1750 until shortly after 1860, the excavation offered tantalising clues that people were living at the site for quite some time before the proven historical date.