It is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of Dr Raymond Lamb, Orkney’s first county archaeologist.
Raymond’s appointment in February 1979 marked a major advancement for archaeology in Orkney. He brought a wide-ranging knowledge of Orkney archaeology and had the prescience to recognise coastal erosion as its single greatest threat.
He established a Sites and Monuments Record for Orkney and augmented the number of sites known by carrying out field investigations and post-storm surveys. On Westray his surveys identified important new sites, such as Tuquoy, and documented the large number of sites which were at risk from erosion. The intensive programme of rescue excavation carried out in Westray in the 1980s was, in a large part, the result of his campaigning.
Raymond first visited Orkney in 1967, to assist in the five-year archaeological excavations at Skaill, Deerness.
His PhD thesis was a study based on his own fieldwork of promontory forts in Shetland. He visited all the inhabited and a few uninhabited islands of Orkney and was particularly fascinated by the many ecclesiastical sites scattered throughout the islands.
Our thoughts go to Raymond’s family at this difficult time.