Citizen science unveils true significance of Scottish fort

Citizen science has exploded in popularity during the pandemic and at one site in Scotland, years of volunteer archaeology have paid off with the discovery of a long sought after hillfort. 

The King’s Seat Hillfort has been known to archeologists for a century, but its full size, location, and significance have only recently been discovered. A group of citizen scientists from Dunkeld excavated the site from 2017 to 2019. In addition to community members, other volunteers included students from the University of the Highlands and Islands and pupils from the Royal School of Dunkeld, Pitlochry High School, and Breadalbane Academy in Aberfeldy.

The site is located above the River Tay and is thought to have been inhabited between the 7th and 9th centuries. Some of the artifacts found, link the site to 6th-century French pottery and Anglo-Saxon communities from Germany. These newfound discoveries indicate that the Picts who lived at King’s Seat had trade links with continental Europe and that the site was of high status in its time. 

“The dig has been a wonderful and enjoyable experience for all of us volunteers,” said Dave Roberts, secretary of Dunkeld and Birnam Historical Society. “We were able to work alongside knowledgeable and helpful experts to help uncover the fascinating story behind King’s Seat.”

Image source: BBC

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