Fort Community Centre Archaeology Outreach Programme

The Fort Community Centre held a weekend dig in their grounds. We were approached to provide support for their project and help plan the excavations. The Desk Based Assessment had identified the possibility of the earlier tenement buildings and air raid shelters being encountered. This was particularly important since a number of people came forward with photographs, hand drawn sketches and stories of their times between 1930 and the 50’s. In addition the material culture generated by the adjacent military fort, the general activities of Leith over hundreds of years and the knowledge that the site was on a raised sandy beach deposit gave certain energy to the dig! In preparation the children marked out the site and 1m squares, cutting the turf the day before the start of the dig. In all 10 pits were excavated and while all were successful 3 pits were clearly showing evidence of human activities and structures. Crucial for the community during the excavations finds were recorded, photographed and bagged. These were then on display at the centre for some weeks and further discussions were had at an informal level as people wished to engaged with the finds. A large pit or ditch was noted and the suggestion was put forward that it was an early ditch pre-dating the military Fort. The opportunity for sampling with an augur was sought and offered at cost rate but we were unable to generate the funds for this task. It is always possible that in the future money could be raised?