T is for Treasure

This is Andrew Nicholson. Andrew is our archaeologist. In Andrew's own words: "archaeology is much more than digging up the ground to find old artefacts." And he isn't exaggerating.

T is for Treasure

Andrew's job sits within the planning department at Dumfries and Galloway Council and involves him looking at planning applications, forestry schemes and utility applications to see if they will have any impact on the incredible 31,500 archaeological sites and buildings in our region.

From digitally mapping sites of historical interest, to delivering public talks, to assessing planning applications, Andrew protects our region's history and helps develop the future in equal measure.

Yes, that's correct, there are 31,500 sites of archaeological interest in our region.

Fact - Andrew was the archaeologist that excavated the Galloway Hoard, the second largest Viking-era hoard ever found in Scotland. Items within this find dated back to 870 -930AD, with a current value of £1.96 million.

To say that this internationally significant hoard of vessels, glass beads, jewel-encrusted brooches was a particularly good day at the office would be an understatement.

Best part of the job?

"Sharing local history with local people. I have only ever wanted to be a county archaeologist, preserving heritage for future generations through my work within the planning department. It is 41 years since I graduated, and I can honestly say I look forward to coming to work every Monday morning - you never know what you'll discover."

Galloway Hoard one day, Torhouse in Wigtown a 10m tall still-standing building that has never been recorded in history - another, to 320 silver coins from the War of Independence being found in Twynholm, there really isn't time to relax with a cup of tea in this exciting job.

Unless you happen to sit down one day and see a Bronze Age cup-and-ring mark on a rock like Andrew did one day, before quickly heading back to log this incredible local find.

Thank you for preserving our heritage while supporting our ever-developing landscape with knowledge, interest and enthusiasm like no other.

You truly are making a difference every day.

Page last updated: 28/02/2024
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