Archaeology digs and projects in Scotland: summer 2019

07 June 2019
Enjoy your best ever summer of archaeology with our guide to three exciting projects taking place over the coming months.

Enjoy your best ever summer of archaeology with our guide to three exciting projects taking place over the coming months.

Whiteadder excavations, until October

The Whiteadder valley in the Lammermuirs was once the main route-way between the Merse and the Lothians. From the Mesolithic through the medieval, the Whiteadder carried with it the entire human story of south-eastern Scotland. 

Whiteadder: the Historic Heart of Lammermuir wil be running a series of workshops, archaeological survesy, eight excavations and the creation of a new path network. The excavations at key sites chosen by the community will take place from May through October and volunteers are welcome to take part. There will also be exciting opportunities for ‘citizen scientists’ to scour new LiDAR images for new archaeological sites. The trail network will take people along the stem of the Whiteadder River and move them out to archaeological sites in the landscape through the use of modern mobile apps and a website. 

If you are interested in taking part, please email.

Excavations at Knowe of Swandro, Orkney, 22 June to 10 August

The Swandro-Orkney Coastal Archaeology Trust's excavation at the Knowe of Swandro, Rousay, Orkney will run again this summer. The site, which is being destroyed by coastal erosion, includes a 5,000-year-old Neolithic chambered tomb and a large settlement, occupied from around 1000BC to AD1200, consisting of Iron Age roundhouses, Pictish buildings (including a smithy, where one of the stone anvils preserved the hand and knee prints of the Pictish metalworker), together with Viking and Norse remains. 

The immediate priority is the completion of the rescue excavation of the chambered tomb, and the substantial Iron Age buildings which overlay it. The later buildings appear to be the remains of a wealthy and important settlement which existed throughout the Iron Age until the arrival of the Vikings. Visitors are very welcome. Archaeologists are on-site from Sunday through to Thursday, and may be working on some Fridays and Saturdays too.

Further details of special events and open days will be announced nearer the time at the website.

Excavation and survey, Kinneil House, Bo’ness, 20 July to 3 August

An excavation and survey of the forecourt at Kinneil House concentrating on the gatehouse indicated by last year’s resistivity survey.  The perimeter walls were demolished in the 1570s to reduce the defensive capabilities of the Earl of Arran’s palace block. Volunteers are invited to accompany archaeologist Geoff Bailey. For more information, email.

Discover 15 more digs and projects in July/August History Scotland, out now.

(image copyright Lennart Lennuk)