Archaeology Courses The Cairns

Field Archaeology Short Course @ The Cairns, Orkney

The stunning location of The Cairns Broch, South Ronaldsay, Orkney

The University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute are now enrolling for the popular short course in Field Archaeology to be held at The Cairns Broch excavation – one of Orkney’s leading excavations.

  • When? 19 – 21 June 2019 (3 full days 9:30 – 16:30)
  • What does it cost? £220.00 per person
  • How do I book? Use the form below

This short course in Field Archaeology from the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) Archaeology Institute, run by a team from our commercial unit Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology, aims to provide participants with basic training and understanding of the practices and processes in Field Archaeology. Check out last years site diary to give you a flavour of the exciting discoveries, including a wooden bowl and human hair in the well!

Site Director Martin Carruthers talks about The Cairns Well, excavated in 2018

Located at the on-going excavations at The Cairns broch, South Ronaldsay, Orkney, training will cover:

  • Excavation techniques
  • Finds identification
  • The principles of stratigraphy
  • Basic site survey and
  • Archaeological recording (drawn, written and photographic record).
3Recording in the broch

Recommended equipment: Steel toe boots/wellies, full waterproofs, packed lunch and flask. Please note: Toilet facilities are provided. Participants are to meet at the excavation site each day at 9:30. Accommodation, travel and lunch are not included.

Places are limited (15 max.) so book now by contacting Mary using the form below…..


  1. I’m not an archaeologist, just someone who is very, very interested in……………………people, what we do, what we make, what we leave – how that changes – what we can lean from those who have gone before etc. etc. That will all be familiar territory to those reading this blog!
    All archaeology is of interest, as it illuminates …life, but, it has to be said, some digs just have so much, are of such interest, and keep on turning up more and more wonders. We have almost a plethora of digs to choose from, on Orkney, and, I have to say, The Cairns dig is one of the absolute dooozies.
    If you are a young, or not so young, archaeology person, this is a wonderful opportunity to be right in there, as a broch emerges from the earth.
    We see brochs, when they’ve been excavated, then left alone, or when they’ve been excavated, and ‘tidied up’ – at The Cairns, you can not only see that past life emerging, but participate in this emergence, and all with folk who are enthusiastic, and knowledgeable. As I said, I’m not an archaeologist – too much like hard work – and it is hard work, but it must be oh, so gratifying.
    Here are some bits and pieces for you to peruse, about The Cairns, if you weren’t already aware of its wonderfulness…………………..

    (NB Other archaeological digs, are available)

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