AN archaeological group is hoping to unravel the secrets of a historic Ross-shire site where artefacts thought to be from the Jacobite rebellions have been unearthed.
The ARCH (Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands) community archaeology project Delve into the Past will return to Foulis near Evanton next month for a second season of excavating.
Last year, the volunteers discovered that the Foulis mound is probably a constructed feature, possibly a "moot" or meeting site where locals would gather to share news and try criminals.
The finds recovered, both through a pre-excavation metal detecting work and during the excavation, showed that the site was a hive of activity in more recent times too.
The recovery of a fine 18th century copper shoe buckle, a soldier’s lead stylus and a variety of musket balls may well be remainders from the period of the Jacobite rebellions. At this time, the Munros would have mustered and co-ordinated training and billeting for troops on the Government side.
More digging will be needed to find out if last year’s interpretation holds true, and to see what other clues to the past may lie in finds from the site.
The pre-excavation work and dig will be led by archaeologists Lynne and Lachlan McKeggie who are looking forward to sharing their knowledge with this year’s ARCH delvers.
Lachlan said: "The ARCH archaeological digs are something special, offering an incredible opportunity to learn through the step-by-step tuition process, which gives everyone the chance to try out all the basic tasks of excavation."
Lynne added: "All the classes and the dig are open to everyone, and people can come along for the whole experience or just join us for a few days. No previous experience is necessary, just an interest in learning more about the past."
Free childcare is available for anyone who needs it, provided it is booked in advance, as well as transport from Dingwall.
Pre-excavation classes will be held in Alness Heritage Centre on Thursdays on June 28, July 5 and 12 from 6.30pm to 9pm, with a site visit on Sunday July 8. Cost for all four sessions is £12 or free to those on low income.
The Foulis dig is on from July 14 – 29 from 9.30am to 4.30pm, and an open day on Sunday, July 22.
To find out more, and to book, contact ARCH on (01349) 868230 or email firstname.lastname@example.org