New Landscape Archaeology Project to Commence in Heart of Neolithic Orkney


Fieldwalking find near Maeshowe

Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology (ORCA) have secured grant funding from Historic Environment Scotland and the Orkney Archaeology Society for a new landscape project in Orkney.

The Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site Landscape Project will provide hands-on training and memorable experiences in field archaeology to the local community.  The study area will be around Maeshowe and Brodgar, taking in parts of the parishes neighbouring the Loch of Harray and Loch of Stenness, West Mainland, Orkney.

Parts of the landscape will be studied with archive research, field walking, walkover survey and lochside surveys – picking up surface finds and recording features visible on the ground surface. These will explore landscape change from the Mesolithic to the present day.


Fieldwalking volunteers near Maeshowe

Previous field walking in the area has recovered prehistoric flints, axe heads and quern stones which often correspond to ancient settlements. Some of these have also been identified during large scale geophysical survey, and this project aims to bring together evidence from these wide ranging sources. Finds from the more recent past are also being collected, such as those from camps used during WW2, bringing the story right up to the present day.

The project aims to take people through the whole archaeological process from finding objects in the field, to mapping, processing finds, and interpreting the results. Participants will produce internationally significant research in the World Heritage area, contribute to the wider understanding of these sites and landscapes through time, and learn new skills.

Field walking will start in March 2019 and continue into April. Other activities will be spaced throughout the year.

If you are interested in taking part please contact studyarchaeology@uhi.ac.uk

The project is supported by Historic Environment Scotland and Orkney Archaeology Society