Highlights for Edinburgh YAC
Edinburgh YAC has been going from strength to strength for five years. Leader Katy Firth shares with us the great many highlights they have had…
It fills us with pride to see young people sharing their knowledge with others. We have had several events where the YACs show off their work to members of the public as well as their parents. Seeing a nine year old explaining to a visitor at Cainpapple Hill about the complicated phases of the prehistoric site using a model he made, has to be one of the proudest moments. Although our sessions are primarily fun, it is encouraging to see that the kids do also learn a lot.
“Battles and warfare”
Last year our YAC members wanted sessions to be on the topic of battles and warfare. We ran with the idea and have done ten sessions, covering everything from Gladiator boot-camp, to Jacobite communications and even Royal Observer Corp aircraft ID from the Second World War. For Mother’s Day we made mummies, inspired by the Narmer Palette – a slate carving from a fourth millennium BC that depicts battle in Egypt.
We are lucky to hold our sessions at Holyrood Park Education Centre, courtesy of Historic Environment Scotland. Holyrood Park is packed with archaeology and so far we have investigated Salisbury Crags and Dunsapie Hill forts (the latter in snow!). We’ve carried out a tape and offset survey of the six little-known air raid shelters near Royal Park Terrace too. We try to use the great outdoors as much as we can.
“We’re going digging abroad”
It’s difficult to get excavation opportunities for a group of up to twenty children as often as they’d like, but last year we took part in the Flodden Eco-museum’s dig at Ford Moss Colliery in Northumberland (in England!), along with two other Young Archaeologists’ Clubs. From pits to promontories, to pineapples, we have also been lucky enough to take part in two excavations in East Lothian with Historic Environment Scotland at Tantallon Castle and at Amisfield Walled garden.
“Why can’t we have YAC every week?”
Credit has to go to our talented bunch of YAC volunteers. I’m lucky to have a group of ladies: Sophie, Cat, Amy, Rachel and Rona, who are all experienced heritage professionals but who love to share their passion with a group of enthusiastic kids on their days off.
Blog by Katy Firth, Leader of Edinburgh YAC.
Based on an article originally published in Archaeology Scotland magazine.
Edited for the web by Sarah Strong.