05/03/2018
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UHI Archaeology Institute releases excavation calendar for 2018 - Scottish archaeology

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Four sites in Orkney will be open to visitors and volunteers in summer 2018, with plenty of opportunities to get involved in exploring Scottish archaeology, whatever your level of experience.

The Cairns Excavation, 18 June - 13 July

  • Site Director: Martin Carruthers
  • Iron Age Broch and Settlement in a stunning coastal location
  • Location: Windwick Bay, South Ronaldsay, Orkney. Follow the sign to Windwick on the A961 between St Margarets Hope and Burwick.
  • Open to the public from 18 June to 13 July 2018
  • Tours are available Monday to Friday. There are no set times, but the site opens at 10.30am each morning and closes at around 4.30pm
  • Open Day is Friday 6 July. All welcome
  • Access to the site involves a short, but steep unpaved road over a small bridge
  • Archaeologists will be working on site during the week. No-one will be on site during the weekend

Ness of Brodgar, 4 July - 22 August 2018

  • Site Director: Nick Card
  • World renowned Neolithic Excavation
  • Location: Stenness, West Mainland, Orkney
  • Nick Card, Site Director Ness of Brodgar, will be giving a talk to the Orkney Archaeology Society on 21 June. Venue: Orkney Theatre, Kirkwall. Time to be confirmed
  • Site open to the public from 4 July to 22 August 2018
  • Tours are available
    • Monday to Friday at 11am, 1pm and 3pm
    • Saturday & Sunday 11am and 3pm
  • Archaeologists will be working on site during the week. The site is open at the weekend for 2 guided tours, but archaeologists will not be present
  • Booking essential for ‘Digging up the Past’ workshops for young people (see here to book) which will be running on:
    • 24 July 2018
    • 31 July 2018
    • 7 August 2018
    • 14 August 2018
  • Open Days will be 15 July and 19 August.
  • Please check the Ness of Brodgar Trust website for up to date information

Cata Sand, Tresness Chambered Tomb & Loth Road Bronze Age House, 7 July - 4 August 2018

  • Site Directors: Professor Vicki Cummings (UCLan), Professor Jane Downes (UHI), Professor Colin Richards (UHI), Chris Gee
  • Neolithic & Bronze Age excavation in collaboration with UCLan.
  • Location: Cata Sand, Tresness, Sanday, Orkney. The Loth Road excavation is close to the ferry terminal and will be signposted.
  • The sites are on the northern Orkney island of Sanday. The ferry timetable is available here.
  • Open to the public from 7 July to 4 August 2018
  • You are welcome to visit the three sites under investigation. The sites open at 10.30am each morning and closes at around 4.30pm
  • Access to the Tresness and Cata Sand sites involves a long walk along Tresness beach from the B9069
  • Archaeologists will be working on site during the week
  • The site is in the intertidal zone and so will be submerged for some parts of the day. Please check with staff concerning working times as they will depend on the tides. Contact UHI.

Skaill House Excavation, Rousay, 9 - 22 July 2018

  • Site Directors: Dr Ingrid Mainland, Dr Jen Harland and Dan Lee
  • The work at Skaill aims to explore the remarkable deep time represented along the west shore; from the Neolithic, Iron Age, Pictish, Viking and Norse periods to the 19th century clearances. Why not visit the coastally eroding site at Swandro as well, which is a further 10 min walk along the coast from Skaill
  • Location: Skaill, near Midhowe Broch, Rousay. There is a regular ferry service to the island
  • Open to the public from 9th – 22nd July 2018 (note, the team will not be on-site 14-17 July)
  • The site opens at 9.30am each morning and closes at around 4.30pm
  • Access to the site involves a walk down a steep hill from the car park for Mid Howe Broch and left (south) along the shoreline (15 min walk). The ground is uneven and the path is a little overgrown in places. Please do not access from Westness Farm
  • Archaeologists will be working on site during the week
  • The Open Day will be on the final weekend 21st-22nd July
  • Contact UHI.

How to get involved

The on-site teams welcome visitors and there is no charge for entry, although donations are welcome to help support the research. There are a few things to keep in mind when visiting:

  • The sites can be muddy following bad weather so sturdy boots are recommended
  • Sites can also be closed if the weather is particularly inclement, so if in doubt please check by sending an e-mail
  • If you need any help in planning a trip to the projects listed below, then please feel free to contact Archaeology at UHI, who are always happy to help you find the site or answer questions.

There are also opportunities to take part in these community events, even if you have no experience of archaeology. If you want to take part in these exciting community events then contact Dan Lee.

Image copyright UHI Archaeology

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