Conference Research

Orkney to host SIRFA’s final archaeology symposium in March

A four-day archaeological research conference is being held in Orkney in March as the final event in the development of Scotland’s Islands Research Framework for Archaeology (SIRFA).
Barnhouse Settlement field trip

A four-day archaeological research conference is being held in Orkney in March as the final event in the development of Scotland’s Islands Research Framework for Archaeology (SIRFA).

It is anticipated that up to 120 people from across Scotland and beyond will attend the symposium and Neil Gray MSP, Scottish Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development, who was brought up in Orkney and educated at Kirkwall Grammar School, will launch the event.

The symposium, from March 24-27, is open to all stakeholders of archaeological research in the Scottish isles, including individuals and organisations whose work involves archaeological research, as well individuals who engage with the outcomes of research such as museums professionals, commercial archaeologists, academic researchers, archaeology students, community heritage groups, independent researchers and local and national government agencies.

The resulting regional research framework for Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles, will be set within the broader Scottish Archaeological Research Framework (ScARF).

SIRFA is tied into the National Plan for Scotland’s Islands, which resulted from the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018, and has synergies with the Islands Growth Deal, especially the heritage-related projects such as the Outer Hebrides Destination Development and the Orkney World Heritage Gateway.

The project began in July 2018 and is coordinated by the UHI Archaeology Institute staff, in partnership with local authority archaeologists at the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Shetland Amenity Trust and Orkney Islands Council.

Orkney county archaeology Paul Sharman.

Orkney’s county archaeologist Paul Sharman said: “The purpose of this, the third such event, is to identify research gaps and areas of research potential.

“The framework will provide an important and accessible resource to anyone interested in the archaeology of Orkney.

“I am very much looking forward to being part of the event.”

The project is supported by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers Scotland (ALGAO) and funded by Historic Environment Scotland as part of Scotland’s Archaeology Strategy.

Registration is now open for the in-person free event. There are limited places – so please register early to avoid disappointment here.

If you are unable to attend, there are still lots of ways you can be involved and have your say – one way is to submit questions.