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Maxton Nature Watch

Rutherford Field Survey - Introduction

RUTHERFORD FIELD WALKING SURVEY: AN INTRODUCTION

My name is Geoff Parkhouse, and I have been walking the fields of Rutherford Farm for several years now. I bag surface finds and record their position with GPS. I do not dig or excavate. The finds are brought to the surface by mostly ploughing and erosion. They are therefore not in their original context (where they were deposited). I report my finds to the Treasure Trove Commission and have submitted an interim report to Archaeology Scotland.

The finds are mainly lithics, the results of making stone tools in Prehistory. I also find abandoned and broken farm tools and pieces of clay tobacco pipes.

Why do I do it? Well, I’ve always been interested in history and archaeology. Then I did a two year evening course in Field Archaeology at Glasgow University and this was a good way of using my experience in a project and a hobby.

But, if truth be told, it’s mainly the ‘buzz’ of finding a stone tool that has lain untouched by human hand for 10,000 years. It is as good a feeling as scoring a hatrick or a hole in one.

I also like to quote Francis Pryor, eminent archaeologist and a frequent expert on ‘Time Team’, who stated: “I firmly believe that the creation of new knowledge is one of the noblest things a person can aspire to.” Besides, Martin Johnson, the farmer at Rutherford Farm, was particularly happy that I was picking stones out of his fields. “Stones”, he said, “I’ve got plenty of them, help yourself!”

I thank Mr Johnson and his family, and Mr Rutherford of Rutherford Estate, for their continuing kind permission to survey.


The Cheviots from Rutherford

The Eildons from Rutherford

Back to: Maxton Nature Watch

Date: 24/09/2009