In 2017, as a condition of planning consent, Persimmon Homes North Scotland commissioned an archaeological survey above Guardbridge in Fife.
A team from Guard Archaeology, led by Marion Smith RSA, carried out excavations of the site of an Iron Age fort between 2019 and 2021 – the excavations revealed traces of a palaeolithic site, a neolithic long house, bronze age hut circles and an iron age roundhouse suggesting continuous human occupation of the area dating back over 6000 years (pre-dating the Great Pyramid in Egypt).
Included in the finds were a Grooved Ware sherd* (dated 4000 to 2500 BC) and a Beaker sherd (dated 2400 to 1800 BC) and as part of Marion’s research, discussions were held with Guard Archaeology who explained that pieces often get mixed together due to later activity – typically ploughing – so it is quite common to find much older fragments mixed with newer pieces.
In 2022 Fyfe Glenrock were commissioned to manufacture a bespoke sculpture. Marion decided to use the two pottery sherds as the basis of the sculpture as they leant themselves to forming the artwork in a way that represented the way that original items were mixed together when discovered.
The sculptures were scaled to the original pieces – although some artistic license was required to re-interpret the pattern on the older fragment (the Beaker fragment had retained its distinctive pattern). Fyfe Glenrock sourced Corrennie red granite for the beaker feature and South African dark grey granite for the conical shaped base.
In addition to the sculpture, interpretive boards are now set up around the site so residents and visitors can follow a timeline of occupation from the Old Stone Age to the present day.
*‘Sherd’ or ‘potsherd’ is the correct term for this type of pottery fragment.
The following link takes you to a video of the Fyfe Glenrock Granite CNC Machine in operation - https://photos.app.goo.gl/2WEjo9YpgCYX6zDMA.
Main Photo - South African grey granite conical base and connected section.
Photos R - Corrennie red granite beaker on the CNC and final shaped piece.