The Caterthuns are the site of two prehistoric hillforts perched on the periphery of the Grampian Mountains in Angus, Scotland. To climb these monuments is the best way to experience a landscape shaped by thousands of years of changing culture, and yet to witness the full complexity and scale of the hillforts requires a view from the air.
This film was produced during PhD research by Kieran Baxter which explored how aerial photography and creative visualisation technologies could be used to connect the archaeological interpretation of ancient monuments with the evocative landscapes of which they form part. This PhD was conducted at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee, with support from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Historic Environment Scotland and supervision from Prof Nigel Johnson, Dr John McGhee, Prof Chris Rowland and Prof Elaine Shemilt.
Winner of the Arts and Humanities Research Council Research in Film Awards 2016 - Doctoral Award.
The film combines filming and photography gathered at different heights using a boom, kite and light aircraft with the kind co-operation of Balnamoon Estate. Interpretive reconstruction modelling of the inner enclosures of White Caterthun was completed by Dr Alice Watterson alicewatterson.co.uk. Additional UAV footage was supplied by Martin Groves.
Soundtrack used with permission:
Composed by Tim Hecker
Published by Warp Publishing
Kieran Duncan, Michael Webster and Nuria Valdeon kindly volunteered practical assistance during the fieldwork. For additional help and advice special thanks are also due to Sean Ahern, James Carnegy, Ronnie Cowan, Susie Green, Jesse Walden, Kit Reid and Richard Strachan.
Find more aerial photography and creative visualisation by Kieran Baxter at topofly.com.