Welcome to Iterations, the home of the Black Isle Archaeology Study Group.
The Black Isle Archaeology Study grew out of the WEA Exploring Your Past community project group that met at Fortrose Leisure Centre through the spring and summer of 2007. The work of this group culminated in a display of research on the Black Isle Ferries and the Wild Rock-Caves of Rosemarkie at Fortrose Library.
Chris and Dave Rendell have continued to delve into the life history of Dr William Maclean and that of Colonel William Bruce Raikes Hall, RA, who assisted in the excavation of Caird's Cave. A booklet about Dr Maclean will be available soon.
The Groam House annual exhibition features Dr Maclean's excavation of Caird's Cave this year. The Pictish pin and some of his other Black Isle finds are on display in the gallery. Groam House is located in Rosemarkie and the Maclean exhibition will be available until April 2011.
An archaeological excavation to prove the location of Dr Maclean's excavation is planned for June 2010. The Rosemarkie Caves project hope to establish that Dr Maclean's 'first cave at Rosemarkie' and 'Caird's Cave' are one and the same. The cave was not named Caird's Cave until the 1920s.
The website's name is related to the learning process that underpins the work of the group.
Iteration: repetition, recapitulation, periodicity
An iterative approach to learning is cyclical, encouraging a process of:
analysis - design - implementation - evaluation
The iterative model of learning sees creative activity as a process of review and revision or, more simply, as learning by doing and amending. In such a process errors and mistakes are not negatives - to be avoided at all costs - but are natural stepping stones on the journey to success.
THE MACLEAN PROJECT
The actual project was undertaken within a standard, six step information problem-solving framework.*
1. Defining key questions and lines of enquiry
Who was Doctor Maclean?
Defining the man in terms of:
· interests and hobbies
· status in community
How did Maclean become involved in the excavation of Caird’s Cave?
What is Maclean’s contribution to archaeology?
· In the context of his own time
· In the context of our time
Who was Colonel Hall?
What was his contribution to the excavation of Caird's Cave?
2. Gathering relevant information from:
· Reference Libraries
· Local People
4. Searching for explanation and
5. Interpreting and making judgements
· Recognising limitations of evidence
· Looking for bias
· Distinguishing between fact and opinion
· Judging contradictory evidence
· Drawing conclusions
· Verifying conclusions with evidence
Creating a Maclean Archive in the local library at Fortrose
Publish a ‘Life of Dr Maclean’
Create an Internet Website dedicated to Dr Maclean
Give lectures and talks to local heritage groups
In summary we discovered that Dr Maclean was:
· Well liked
· A keen Sportsman
· Considered a ‘Sound diagnostician’, always well read and up to date
· A Scholar and Polymath
· An Antiquarian in the ‘Loamshire Tradition’
* Information Skills in the Secondary Curriculum (Marland. Methuen, 1981)
* Information Problem-Solving (Eisenberg and Berkowitz. Ablex, 1990)
Photo: 'The Rosemarkie Pin'
Sally Foster, in her study of the chronology of pins and combs in the later Atlantic Iron Age (1990), describes the pin as a class D pin. This type of pin is later than the 7th century and the use of amber decoration places it in an 8th or early 9th century context