Digging up Kirkcaldy: Delve into the past with a pop up exhibition and Bike Back to the Bronze Age event
Digging Up Kirkcaldy’s Bronze Age Stories: Exhibition Pop-up will offer people the chance to see and hear more about an excavation that took place in the town in 1980 after bronze age finds including a human skeleton were dramatically exposed by builders behind Kirkcaldy High Street in what is now a car park.
The free event, which takes place in a venue located beside the original dig site, will enable visitors to blether with some of the archaeological experts involved, view project displays, handle replicas, participate in craft activities and find out more about the other prehistoric and bronze age discoveries in the town.
There will be opportunities for members of the public to comment on plans and the content of a new information leaflet and online resource to support new walking and cycling routes and share their own stories of Kirkcaldy’s heritage.
The excavation finds in 1980 included a fired clay pot. It was first rebuilt by archaeologists at The University of Glasgow who undertook the rescue excavation. Now it has been fully restored by a conservator thanks to the generosity of the Friends of Kirkcaldy Galleries and is on display in Kirkcaldy Galleries.
Three cist graves were uncovered during the Kirkcaldy High Street 1980 excavations, but only one had a food vessel. Human remains were also present in one of the other previously disturbed burial cists. Specialist analysis will soon reveal further insights into the people buried in this small cemetery on an earlier sandy raised beach back in the Bronze Age.
The new research is part of an ongoing project at The University of Glasgow to address unpublished archaeological excavation archives. The original excavator died before completing the original analysis.
A project, led by Dr Nyree Finlay, supported by Historic Environment Scotland and The University of Glasgow is conducting a series of new post-excavation studies leading to publication of the Kirkcaldy cists excavation.
Dr Finlay has been working on the project since 2021. She said the work has been undertaken alongside public archaeology events including Digging Up Kirkcaldy’s Bronze Age Stories with pop up exhibitions, specialist talks and creative workshops.
She said: “The project has produced a new cycle and walking trail resource with local community partners to celebrate Kirkcaldy’s prehistoric heritage and to better promote place-making and sustainable tourism. The first cycling event Bike to the Bronze Age will take place on September 2 in collaboration with Greener Kirkcaldy.”
The family friendly ride out event on Saturday launches a new cycling route. The cycle ride will see participants visit the location of bronze age and other heritage sites researched as part of the project with an opportunity to see the original food vessel currently on display in Kirkcaldy Galleries.
Free places on the bike ride organised by Greener Kirkcaldy are limited and must be booked in advance. Places can be booked by visiting the events page on the Greener Kirkcaldy webpage – www.greenerkirkcaldy.org.uk
The Digging Up Kirkcaldy’s Bronze Age Stories: Exhibition Pop-up will run on Saturday, September 2 and Sunday, September 3 from 10am to 4pm upstairs at Kerry Photography, 243 High Street. The exhibition entrance can be found at the back of the property, accessed via Kirk Wynd and the car park.