The Save Wemyss Ancient Caves Society (SWACS) has been highly commended at the British Archaeological Awards.
It was awarded a certificate of excellence for the creation of its Wemyss Caves 4D interactive website.
The digital project gives visitors virtual access to one of the historic caves which houses an array of Pictish markings and allow viewers to interact with them.
The project is the result of a collaborative visualisation scheme involving SWACS in partnership with York Archaeological Trust (YAT); Scottish Coastal Archaeology and the Problem of Erosion (SCAPE) with valuable input from the community.
The ceremony was held at the British Museum, presided over by Deborah Williams, chairman of the British Archaeological Awards and compered by Lloyd Grossman, chairman of the Heritage Alliance.
Of the hundreds of entries only 18 made the short-list, with three projects nominated for each of the six categories.
Wemyss Caves 4D had been short-listed in ‘Best Public Presentation of Archaeology’ category along with Channel 4’s ‘New Secrets of the Terracotta Army’ and the University of York’s archaeological journal, ‘Post Hole.’ ‘New Secrets of the Terraccotta Army’ was the overall winner, with ‘Wemyss 4D’ and ‘Post Hole’ both Highly Commended.
Dr Tom Dawson of the University of St Andrews and SCAPE said: “The project with SWACS was very rewarding - not only did we manage to capture fantastic 3D images of Jonathan’s Cave and its carvings, but were able to scan some fantastic images showing how rapidly the coast had eroded around East Wemyss, together with some fascinating oral history. Some of this is already included online.’’
Dr Sue Hamstead, education officer of SWACS, said: “We’re learning so much from this project and keen to continue working with our partners from YAT and SCAPE to sustain this innovative trend and bring the best techniques available to the recording of the rest of the caves.”
Pam Cranston, secretary of SWACS added: “It was quite an experience seeing our project profiled in this way and interesting to see what others are doing.”
Visiting the caves
There are still opportunities to see the caves first hand.
Details of how to book free tours led by trained guides are available on SWACS website at www.wemysscaves.co.uk and Facebook.
It is inadvisable for visitors to enter the caves without an experienced guide. Children are always welcome accompanied by responsible adults.