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M74 Dig Masterclasses – Glasgow

January 24, 2008

The M74 Dig is running a series of Masterclasses throughout February and March giving beginners the opportunity to learn some fascinating archaeological techniques.  Interested participants are invited to sign up to the classes in advance, coming to as many as they choose.

Places are limited to 20 for each session.  Each class will involve a practical element and there will be handouts available for participants to take home.

All classes will run from 11am-1pm at the M74 Dig Discovery Centre, Scotland Street School Museum, Glasgow.

Please click this link for a registration form:

Call 0141 418 2840 or email for more information.

Archives for Archaeologists with Kirsty Dingwall & Liz Jones – Saturday 2nd February
This class will cover the main sources of publicly available information used by archaeologists when researching a site and where to find it.  It will focus on Glasgow and the M74 Dig sites in particular and will cover the use of old maps, documentary sources and the National Monuments Record of Scotland. 

Archaeological surveying and drawing with Mikael Simonsson & Elin Evertsson – Saturday 9th February
This class will include an overview of the techniques employed by archaeologists to plan sites and draw features.  There will be a practical introduction to basic planning and drawing using tapes,planning frames and dumpy levels and reading and understanding maps.   We will also look at digital planning using electronic survey equipment.  

Historic Building Recording with George Geddes – Saturday 16th February
This class will cover the basic techniques used when recording buildings using the M74 Dig building recording projects as an example.  There will be a practical introduction to the recording of buildings focussing on Scotland Street School Museum.

Environmental Archaeology with Sarah-Jane Haston & Roz Gillis – Saturday 23rd February
This class will look at the different palaeoenvironmental techniques and analyses used in vegetation reconstruction, such as plant macrofossils (including wood and seeds), pollen and non-pollen palynomorphs (including fungal spores).  The session aims to show the potential of these methods to inform the archaeologist of what the past landscape was
like and how people in the past were interacting with this landscape (e.g. clearing of woodland for farmland).  The class will involve an introduction to the methods outlined above, some microscope work and discussion of these techniques. 

Oral history with David Walker of Glasgow Museums and Angela Bartie of Strathclyde University – Saturday 1st March
This class will include a general introduction to oral history as well as an introduction to the testimonies gathered on the M74 oral history project.  It is hoped that there will be a practical element to the class with participants given the opportunity to record oral testimonies themselves.

Finds from prehistory to the 20th century with Julie Franklin – Saturday 8th March
This class will be an introduction to on-site finds recovery and documentation and will cover the legislation relating to finds in Scotland.  It will focus on the 19th/20th century pottery and finds recovered from the M74 Dig sites but will also cover finds of other periods.

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