Within hours of starting work yesterday Lara, who was excavating the southern of the two rooms in the east range, made a very special find....
I write "I can only speculate...." because archaeologists are the most reticent species of human I've ever come across, and won't take a guess at anything, let alone read stories into the finds they make.
All finds are boxed up and returned to Addyman Archaeology's offices, where they are cleaned and then looked at by a specialist. He or she then produces a report which describes the style of the find and, hopefully, dates it. The 'assemblage' - that is, all the finds from this Mingary Castle investigation - go to Treasure Trove Scotland where a panel of experts value it. It is then advertised to museums who bid for it. The best assemblages go to places like the National Museum of Scotland, while museums and heritage centres in other cities, regional museums and local museums, such as those in Fort William and Tobermory, are less able to buy exceptional assemblages. If the assemblage isn't bought, it's retained by Addyman Archaeology, who choose how to dispose of it.
Many thanks indeed to Ross Cameron for explaining the process to me.