On the Tuesday the 21st of August the P5-7 went on a trip to Dunyvaig castle archaeology site. We all put on our wellies, waterproofs and got onto Mr Mackie’s bus and set off to the castle. I felt so excited when we finally arrived at Laphroaig distillery and got off the bus.
Mrs McLellan told us to go into pairs and we started to walk up the hill to the castle. Once we reached to some houses we smelt wet dog but I forgot about it when I saw Dunyvaig castle sitting on what looked like was a hill of grass.
We walked down a slope and Lauren came and greeted us, she started telling us all about the castle, that the castle we can see is 700 years old and the castle underneath it they think is Neolithic. The also told us that it didn’t actually look like that in the old days. It is like that because it fell down. Lauren took us to what some of the people were digging up. Lauren said it was some sort of house and we thought it could have been a blacksmiths, you could see what they meant about it being a house, it was as if the roof, walls and everything inside had been taken off the house. Next she showed us artefacts that were in plastic bags, they were bones, animal bones, half a cannonball and what they thought was some kind of fishing weight.
Then we walked into what was a courtyard of the castle, if we looked to our left we could see people digging up the trenches then if you looked to your top right you could see the bit where the boats came in and out, they were digging that up as well. Then Lauren led us out of the courtyard back to where the blacksmiths house and we laid on the grass whilst we waited for what we were going to do next.
Next Mrs McLellan put us in groups, I was with Melody, Hannah and the P5 girls and Lauren took us to the where the boats came in and out of the castle. Lauren gave us a trowel each and lined us along the dig. Lauren said we don’t dig down, we scrape it like as if we are spreading butter on toast and then we started scraping the dirt. We were also told if we had any questions we could ask Nick who was sitting on grass, also if we keep scraping the dirt will change colour a little bit. I found a dead orange bug and some quartz, I felt happy that I had found some quartz and all the colourful little stones in the dirt looked so pretty. I picked up a little stone that felt odd, I asked Nick about it and he said it was sandstone, so I dropped it into my dirt pile and continued digging.
When we had a big enough pile of dirt we could get a shovel and drop it into the bucket. Then Lauren came over and said it was time for us to stop, I was sad but I knew we couldn’t do it all day because we were going to Port Ellen School. We all gave our trowels back to Lauren and she put them into a box and we went with Mr Mackie and Lauren out of the what was a courtyard but now is grass and saw the P5 boys helping dig a part of the wall then the P6s came as well. Finally we said thank you to the archaeologists, I felt sad that we had to go but we couldn’t stay.
I had a really good time digging at Dunyvaig Castle, I looked at the castle one more time, I saw the white tent, the entrance to the courtyard, the remains of the castle and the people dotted around the archaeology site. I carried on walking to Mr Mackie’s yellow bus.
By Neil MacPherson