Our Young Archaeologists took a break in July and came back in August full of enthusiasm!
We were very lucky to be joined by Dr Kenny Brophy, Senior Lecturer in archaeology, at the University of Glasgow. Kenny came down to tell us all about the prehistory in our local area (and it was fascinating)!
We are very lucky in Dundonald to be surrounded by so much known (and still to be discovered) archaeology, spanning back many thousands of years.
The castle itself sits upon a known Iron Age hillfort which probably dates to somewhere around 1500BC at its earliest. However, castle hill is only one significant archaeological site in our quite undiscovered landscape. The well-known Shewalton Moor has thrown up a number of fascinating prehistoric finds, including arrowheads, stone tools and scrapers, pottery and more ( https://canmore.org.uk/search/site?SIMPLE_KEYWORD=shewalton ).
Other prehistoric sites in the local landscape include, Drybridge (standing stone and cursus monument), Dreghorn (Neolithic settlement), Kilmarnock (a number Neolithic settlements and farms), Barassie, Troon, Ayr (recent prehistoric settlement site discovered at Ayr Academy). These are only a few examples of the vast activity that was taking place in the early days of settlement in what we now call Ayrshire.
The YA’s were fascinated to be able to see the locations of some of these sites from standing on castle hill and they also learned some roles that they could have been placed in as a prehistoric person living here.
Another great activity we did during this session was the creation of ‘heritage plaques’, filled with fantastic facts about the history of Dundonald Castle, which we hope to be able to display around the castle itself.
Our prehistoric session was a great hit with the YA’s and next session we will get the chance to get digging in Dundonald Castle’s Excavations later in September.
If you would like more information about our Young Archaeology Club, or about the prehistory of our local area, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.