Interpretation Activities

Students measuring a wall

Ideas for interpretation activities

Archaeologists bring together all the data they have gathered and make their interpretation of a site into a report or a publication.These are just a few examples of creative approaches you can take to draw your study of Scotland's rural past into some kind of interpretive presentation.

Create a PowerPoint presentation of findings from the case study and/or a site visit using images from SCRAN or Canmore.

Write a newspaper front page or a diary entry based on what you have learned about the lives of the people who lived at the site.

Using the measurements in the case study use Google Sketchup ( to create a 3D reconstruction and upload it to Google Earth (

The communities who lived in these settlements would have been self-sufficient, growing their own food, making their own clothes and many of the objects that they would have needed to live and farm in the countryside. Try out some of the rural skills from the past:

  • Spin wool
  • Weave cloth
  • Make butter
  • Plait a rope
  • Grind your own oats
  • Make your own oat cakes
  • Grow potatoes, or plant a kail yard

Try some role-play and explore what life might have been like for people living a rural settlement.

People had to make their own entertainment in the past and long repetitive tasks like butter-making, grinding corn, or making cloth and long journeys were often accompanied by music and song. Find traditional songs and listen to them, what do they tell you about daily life? Learn a traditional song, or make up songs of your own.

Visit a museum or heritage site to see how life in the rural past has been interpreted. Suggested places for a visit:

The Highland Folk Museum, Newtonmore, Highland

Auchindrain Museum, Inveraray, Argyll and Bute

National Museum of Rural Life, East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire

Aberdeenshire Farming Museum, Mintlaw by Peterhead, Aberdeenshire

Moirlannich Longhouse, Killin, Stirling

Fife Folk Museum, Ceres, Fife

© Historic Environment Scotland - Scottish Charity No. SC045925.