Secrets of the Sea Exhibition

The Secrets of the Sea: Underwater Archaeology Around Orkney 

  • When: From 6 – 27 February 2016.
  • Time: Monday – Saturday, 10.30 am – 12.30 pm, 1.30 – 5.00 pm.
  • Venue: The Orkney Museum ,Tankerness House, Broad Street, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1DH. Tel: 01856 873191.
  • Admission is free.

6th February sees the opening of a new exhibition at the Orkney Museum which gives a glimpse of Orkney’s hidden heritage. ‘The Secrets of the Sea: Underwater Archaeology Around Orkney’ looks at some of the wrecks that are to be found in Orkney waters and some of the artefacts that litter our seabed.

The exhibition is a collaboration between Sula Diving, Seasearch, Orkney Historic Boat Society, ORCA (Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology) through the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute and the Maritime Studies Department at University of the Highlands and Islands.

Sandra Hendry, Maritime Archaeologist with ORCA, said: “Various facets of Orkney’s rich maritime cultural heritage are represented within this exhibit from the oar to the sail; this exhibition displays the work of a number of groups invested in the recording, protection and promotion of Orkney’s maritime cultural heritage.”

“Orkney’s rich maritime heritage has the ability to tell the stories of the people who first inhabited these islands, to the dramatic events of war represented within the World War I and World War II wrecks around Orkney, whilst still bringing us through to the present day and the way we continue to interact with the maritime space.”

Tom Muir, Exhibitions Officer at the Orkney Museum, said: “I am indebted to Kevin Heath of Sula Diving for first approaching me to put on a display about the shop boat, Lizzie Bain, which was lost in Scapa Flow in tragic circumstances in the 1880s. As well as the story of this wreck there is a chance to find out more about the techniques used to uncover the hidden world of marine archaeology, from the wrecks of the German High Seas Fleet to crashed wartime aircraft that lie hidden on the seabed. ”

Mark Shiner of the Maritime Studies Department – University of the Highlands and Islands, has put together a display on sail making, a course unique in Scotland that the department has offered in the past, to knot-work. The Orkney Historic Boat Society will highlight the work that they have done to preserve traditional boats and save them from being destroyed. It all comes together to create a fascinating insight into Orkney’s maritime history.