Throwback Thursday : Valentines News

senior school cards and poetry

I introduced Anne to Bruce Mann, Aberdeenshire Council’s Archaeologist for Moray, Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen City and Angus.  Bruce and his small but perfectly formed team are responsible for making sure I’m well looked after.  They are based at Woodhill House but their jobs take them all over the four Local Authorities.  They are involved in a lot of different things, from planning applications to working out how best to care for buildings, sites and monuments under their care.  As I mentioned before, they are the ones to contact if you have found anything that falls into the category of Treasure Trove.

Bruce and his team received my valentines on my behalf, I think Bruce was a little taken a back, and possibly a little envious that I received more valentines than he did this year.


The cards were then arranged and carefully curated by Claire and Bruce into an exhibition for the employees, volunteers and visitors to Woodhill House to visit on their way to the canteen.

card exhibition

An introduction to the exhibit was placed beside it as well.aberdeenshire-council-exhibition-information-001I’d like to thank Claire and Bruce for taking such good care of the children’s cards and for sharing them with everyone in the building, it means a lot to me to hear from my friends in Rhynie and that they still think of me fondly.  If you want to see more information and lots of lovely photos of their travels around the north east then follow their twitter feeds (sometimes I feature in their tweets as well) at @chh_bck and @diggermann17


I couldn’t let the children think I hadn’t got the cards so I (ok, with a  little help from Bruce) sent them through something for them to work on. Can you work it out?

rhynie man ogham

Throwback Thursday : Valentines News

Lasers and learning about new technology


As you are probably aware, us Picts were great with technology!  admittedly, it was mainly Iron working but we loved making things and Rhynie would have been filled with the ringing of the anvil and whoosh of the bellows.  The 21st Century is a little bit quieter, but equally as productive.  And as you can see above they love their symbols as well.


It always amazes me how Archaeologists work with the two extremes of technology, on one hand they use field walking and digging and on the other they are working with the latest LIDAR surveys and Geophysical Scanning.  Today I was looking at things they use called computers, which in some ways reminded me of Ogham, with their 1 and 0s.  The latest technology available to use at @MAKEAberdeen included wonderful contraptions like laser scanners, 3D printers, digital embroidery machines and digital etching contraptions.  Back in the 600s we did similar things with metal, but used our own approaches – mould making, casting and etching with tools or possibly acid.


The photo above is of an item found in the Norrie’s Law Hoard – an item made of silver with intricate etching. It looks as if it was made yesterday and could have been tooled or etched with acid.  The Pictish Stones site describes the Hoard as follows:

A hoard of silver found at Norrie’s Law, Fife in 1819 included two leaf-shaped metal plaques, engraved and enamelled with Pictish symbols, as well as decorated pins and other items. A fine silver chain, a serpent-like bracelet and more pins were discovered at Gaulcross, Banffshire in 1840.

Wooden Etches 6 symbolsThe amount of skill, work and eyesight that went into the silverwork is astonishing.  These discs of wood are etched using a powerful laser and took a few minutes to etch and cut, the silverwork above would have taken a really long time to make, not to mention the cost of the silver.  They must have been made for a very rich and special person in Pictland.

laser etching cookie printer

As ever, how could I leave myself out!  This is a very special illustration of me for the very lovely Rhynie Woman, Daisy.  She is an exquisite baker and I’m looking forward to seeing myself on her lovely cookies.  Rhynie Man biscuits

Needless to say, I’ve got loads more ideas of gifts to make for Rhynie Woman and the people of Rhynie, tune in later this week for the second installment.  But in the meantime, here’s a teaser for future plans.


Lasers and learning about new technology