Threave Esate finds featured in stunning new photography series

Artefacts unearthed on the Threave Estate have been captured by an artist as part of a national campaign.

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 11:15 am
Chris Dooks created a landscape from a piece quartz and a bit of lead shot
Chris Dooks created a landscape from a piece quartz and a bit of lead shot

Earlier this month members of the public joined the Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership and the National Trust for Scotland for a small archaeological excavation known as “test pitting".

The photographs were commissioned as part of a series by the Dig It! project to mark the end of the Scotland Digs 2021 campaign which celebrated the archaeological activity that took place across the country this summer.

The Threave Estate images were captured by Chris Dooks, an interdisciplinary artist working in photography, field-recording and music who carries out residencies in Scotland and the rest of Europe.

Various finds become a study of abstract forms

Finds featured in the photographs include a flint flake (waste material produced in the making of stone implements) from an assemblage which is potentially late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age in date, meaning it could be around 4,500 years old, lead shot which could date as far back as the 16th century, a flint thumbnail scraper of late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age date used to work wood and clean hides, and a medieval lead spindle whorl used when spinning yarn which could date to the 13th century.

The photographer also focused on one of the numerous unidentified iron objects that appear to survive from centuries of agriculture across the Threave Estate.

Chris said: “As a dark sky enthusiast, I was very excited by working in a part of Scotland close to my heart.

"To be taken around the site by the professionals who were able to read the landscape was enlightening.”

A huge piece of unidentified rust captures the spirit of what an object looks like as soon as it comes out of the ground

Helen Keron, Galloway Glens education and community engagement officer, added: “It was great to welcome Chris Dooks to our community archaeology event in Galloway, and amazing to see his different take on the objects that our volunteers found.

"Having an artist involved in this technical work certainly sheds a completely different light on these found artefacts from our shared history.”

During the campaign, Dig It! shared updates from over 20 fieldwork events across Scotland, most of which were open to the public either with a range of activities available for anyone wanting to try their hand at archaeology.