Archaeology Bay of Ireland

Carnegie Trust Funding

IMG_0266The Carnegie Trust award funds collaborative projects between Scottish Universities to advance existing areas of study, with the money awarded to be put towards fieldwork costs, laboratory costs and dissemination of results.

In May of this year Dr Scott Timpany of the Archaeology Institute UHI, in collaboration with Dr Richard Bates of The University of St Andrews and Dr Sue Dawson of The University of Dundee were successful in gaining a grant to undertake research on their project – Bay of Ireland Palaeolandscape Assessment – Addressing critical changes in Orcadian Landscapes; Mesolithic to Bronze Age

This project, which will also involve collaboration with the Universities of Hull, Wales Trinity Saint David and University College Dublin, aims to:

  • Take an interdisciplinary approach (involving offshore survey, pollen, plant macrofossils, insects and ancient DNA analyses) looking at a slice through an area of Orkney from the offshore marine zone through to the intertidal zone and on to the terrestrial zone.
  • Investigate how the landscape and sea-level changed from the Mesolithic period through to the Bronze Age (approx. 7000 years).
  • Investigate evidence for offshore submerged landscapes in the form of freshwater peats and tree remains.
  • Investigate how peoples interactions with their environment changed through this time-span, including activity within the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site.

The project will be looking at how prehistoric communities on Orkney responded and adapted to environmental change. This research has particular relevance to the current day given the prospect of rising sea-levels and associated loss of land together with increasing winter storm damage.

We are also currently looking for a MSc research student to join the team for the project, who will be looking at plant macrofossils and insects from the intertidal peats at the Bay of Ireland. If you are interested then contact Dr. Scott Timpany on