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Current Projects

The list below shows current projects being carried out by NOSAS. If you would like to take part, please contact the named lead or Committee member. Their contact details (log in, members only) are in the Membership List, see tab on left.

Conan Pictish Stone. Lead Anne MacInnes

NOSAS was undertaking a survey at an early Christian site in 2019 when a suspected Pictish stone was spotted. Highland Council archaeologists and HES were quickly brought in and it was established that we have around two thirds of a "new" Pictish cross-slab with Pictish symbols. These include a number of fabulous beasts including dragons, a hippocamp, an animal headed warrior with sword and shield and a centaur wielding an axe. There is also a cauldron, two oxen, a double disc and z rod symbol and a large ornate Christian cross. It is thought the stone might have originally stood 2.4 metres tall.

NOSAS and the Pictish Arts Society (PAS) put their own money into lifting the stone from its find site and transferring it to a stone conservator in Edinburgh. A campaign has now sucessfully raised an additional £20,000 in order to clean, repair and conserve the stone, and then put it on permanent display in Dingwall Museum. See https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/SponsorAPictishStone and our blog post.


Tarradale Through Time Project.  Lead Eric Grant, NOSAS Committee liaison Jonie Guest/ Anne Coombs

For some years NOSAS members have been field walking after the fields are ploughed in winter. Important sites dating from Mesolithic to post-medieval have been identified as well as some fascinating finds of worked flint, pottery and coins. Field walking normally takes place each Sunday during the winter months.  Please contact Eric if you are interested.

In 2017 the Tarradale Through Time Project was awarded £69,300 of Heritage Lottery Funding to undertake a programme of archaeological excavations and investigations. It has now completed its second season of excavations. See the Tarradale Through Time website for the most up to date information.

Scotland’s Rock Art Project (ScRAP).  Lead John Wombell / Alan Thompson, NOSAS Committee liaison Meryl Marshall

This 5-year project, led by Dr Tertia Barnett started on 1 January 2017.  The aim is to record the rock art across the whole of Scotland in a consistent and useful way.  NOSAS will undertake the pilot field work before the project is rolled out across Scotland.  A summary is available here, the SCRAP website is now live at www.rockart.scot

Read the new post on the NOSAS Blog.

If you would like to be involved in any way in the project during 2018/19 please let us know and we will put you on the project mailing list.

JS Bone Collection. Lead Roland Spencer-Jones

Since 1984 Jim Bone had flown over Scotland taking photographs of what he saw, with a focus on interesting shapes, crop marks, and upstanding archaeology. He was a founder member of NOSAS, and a well kent figure in Highland archaeology. Sadly, after a long illness, he died in June 2018.

Just before his death he gifted his entire collection of aerial photographs to NOSAS. Called the JS Bone Collection, the images are in digital, slide and print format. Historic Environment Scotland are in the process of scanning the slides and prints into digital images, ready to upload to the Canmore website. However, before that, NOSAS is coordinating a project to geo-reference each image so that the entire collection of about 6000 images can be searched for particular locations or archaeological sites. If you would like to take part in this geo-referencing phase please contact Roland.

Lovat Estate Map Project. Lead Roland Spencer-Jones

NOSAS worked with the Lovat Estate in April 2018 to digitise their entire map archive. Over 500 unique map images are now available to look at on the National Library of Scotland website. The next phase of the project is to geo-reference these maps. The outcome of this phase of the project will be the ability to click on any part of an online OS map of the Highlands to see what Lovat maps relate to it. They will be digitally stacked up in date order above the OS base map. To achieve this, each of the map images will be digitally stitched to a modern OS map, using simple mapping software.

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