Celebrating World Heritage Day in Orkney

The Heart of Neolithic Orkney “Glowed in the ArchaeoDark” to celebrate World Heritage Day with storytelling, music and face painting.

The University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute teamed up with DigIt2017 for the World Heritage Day event in Orkney as part of the ‘Scotland in Six’ celebrations.

Workshops were initially organised in the week prior to the event with The Orkney Youth Cafe. Everyone made the light staffs, learnt about Neolithic Orkney and face painting based on the Neolithic art from the Ness of Brodgar Site. The group also devised a dance led by Vicky Green which was enacted as a finale to the event.

DSCN0606The night was clear with just a slight threat of rain as a host of young people congregated at Skara Brae to hear traditional Orkney tales in the replica Neolithic house, paint their face (which progressed to arm painting at one point!), rehearse and enjoy refreshments in the visitor centre.

DSC_4406As the night closed in, everyone boarded the coach and set off for the Ring of Brodgar, where the participants were adorned with glow strings and asked to line up on the boardwalk leading to the stones. The torches were switched on and the long column of young people was joined by drummers to add drama to the occasion.

It looked and sounded spectacular as the dark night of the Ring of Brodgar rang with the laughter of people celebrating the day. Within a short time, a crowd had gathered, including a family who had travelled from Yorkshire to holiday in Orkney and had heard about the event from the local newspaper.

Slowly, the procession wound its way around the stones and as a finale performed a carefully choreographed performance at the entrance to the stones.

Everyone agreed that it was a magical evening in a magical location and an excellent way to celebrate World Heritage Day.

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Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology

HHA2017 Logo2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories and unique experiences. Scotland’s rich heritage, captivating history and world-renowned archaeology will come to life through a range of new and exciting experiences and events aimed at locals and visitors alike.

From World Heritage sites to ancient monuments, world-class visitor attractions and cultural traditions, Scotland offers iconic experiences and hidden gems to visitors, all year round.

Scotland’s vast history, heritage and archaeology have a fascinating story to tell and there are countless secrets to uncover at ruins, ancient monuments and remarkable archaeological sites, as well as museums and galleries across Scotland.

Each area of Scotland has its own distinctive heritage and traditions that shape its environment, as well as the lifestyle and humour of its people today. Visitors can discover this for themselves through unique events and attractions in 2017.

We are connected not just by genetics, but by our traits, our beliefs and our spirit. You will find something of yourself in Scotland, as well as a warm and welcoming people.

Visit Scotland has announced a unique event line-up for 2017 themed year: Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

For more information on the Scotland in Six events see our previous blog page and the DigIt2017 webpage.

 

Six Things to Know about the Heart of Neolithic Orkney

Ring of Brodgar

The Heart of Neolithic Orkney will “Glow in the ArchaeoDark” on World Heritage Day (18th April) with interactive storytelling, music and a host of other events.

The University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute are pleased to be teaming up with DigIt2017 for the World Heritage Day event in Orkney as part of the ‘Scotland in Six’ celebrations.

To set the scene here are 6 things you may or may not know about the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site:

  • It is the only place in the world where you can see a Neolithic settlement, a “temple precinct”, ceremonial standing stones and burial mounds within a few miles of each other.
  • The Watch Stone marked the meeting of the sea water of Loch of Stenness and the fresh water of the Loch of Harray in the Neolithic. Both lochs are brackish nowadays as they are now linked.
  • The Barnhouse Stone “leads” the winter sunset into Maeshowe
  • The Ring of Brodgar, Stones of Stenness, Barnhouse village, the Watch Stone and the Barnhouse Stone are still free to enter (in addition to the Ness of Brodgar in the excavation season. However public donations are important to keep research progressing at the Ness.)
  • Runes carved into Maeshowe proclaim that they were carved after the time of Ragnar Lothbrok – who is now starring in The Vikings TV series!
  • The Ring of Brodgar is still used as a gathering place for Orcadians – 5000 years after it was built. It is especially popular for weddings and other family events.

Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology

HHA2017 Logo2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories and unique experiences. Scotland’s rich heritage, captivating history and world-renowned archaeology will come to life through a range of new and exciting experiences and events aimed at locals and visitors alike.

From World Heritage sites to ancient monuments, world-class visitor attractions and cultural traditions, Scotland offers iconic experiences and hidden gems to visitors, all year round.

Scotland’s vast history, heritage and archaeology have a fascinating story to tell and there are countless secrets to uncover at ruins, ancient monuments and remarkable archaeological sites, as well as museums and galleries across Scotland.

Each area of Scotland has its own distinctive heritage and traditions that shape its environment, as well as the lifestyle and humour of its people today. Visitors can discover this for themselves through unique events and attractions in 2017.

We are connected not just by genetics, but by our traits, our beliefs and our spirit. You will find something of yourself in Scotland, as well as a warm and welcoming people.

Visit Scotland has announced a unique event line-up for 2017 themed year: Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. See our blog post for details of events across Scotland.

Thanks to Jim Richardson for permission to use the photograph.

“Glow in the ArchaeoDark” – History, Heritage and Archaeology events for 2017

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The University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute are pleased to be teaming up with DigIt2017 for a World Heritage Day event in Orkney as part of the ‘Scotland in Six’ on 18th April 2017.

Visit Scotland has announced a unique event line-up for 2017 themed year: Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology set to inspire us to #facethepast

A Great Roman Bake-Off,  large scale projections of Viking imagery, a live archaeological dig of St Kilda in Minecraft and a colourful international weaving festival are just a few of the events lined up to make history in 2017.

With over one third of visitors drawn to Scotland for its history and culture, VisitScotland has hailed the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology as an exciting opportunity to relive Scotland’s fascinating past through a range of events and activities.

A total of nine events – supported by a £300,000 Signature Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology Events Fund have been announced with more to be revealed in the coming weeks.

Highlights of the programme (which includes both brand new events and new programmes within existing events) include

  • a spectacular sound and light projection event at New Lanark World Heritage Site to bring to life the mill as it was in the heart of the Industrial Revolution (Shining Lives Project).
  • The Heart of Neolithic Orkney will “Glow in the ArchaeoDark” on World Heritage Day (18th April) with interactive storytelling, music, food and glow-in-the-dark paint (Scotland in Six Project).
  • A unique event in the Outer Hebrides will celebrate the islands’ rich South Asian history with music and art collaboration, exhibitions and performances (Purvai Project).

The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology Signature Event Programme:

EVENT DATES LOCATION
Edinburgh Georgian Shadows 23 Feb – 26 March 2017 Edinburgh

Scotland in Six

18 April 2017

(World Heritage Day)

Scotland-wide

Including Orkney!

Tradfest Edinburgh 26 Apr –7 May 2017

 

Edinburgh
Paisley’s International Festival of Weaving 1 & 2 July 2017

 

Paisley
Purvai August 2017 Stornoway

 

Follow the Vikings Roadshow & Festival 2 & 3 September 2017

8 & 9 September 2017

Shetland
Horsepower 9 September 2017 Falkirk
Mary Queen of Scots Festival September 2017 Kinross and Loch Leven
Shining Lives Autumn 2017 New Lanark World Heritage Site

The year also provides the opportunity to promote and celebrate a much wider programme of events celebrating Scotland’s history, heritage and archaeology. Partner events within the year include

Scot:Lands, which kicks off the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology celebrations on 1 January with an adventurous journey across Edinburgh’s Old Town

Celtic Connections (19 Jan – 5 Feb) –  the UK’s premier celebration of Celtic music.  And at the end of January, the national bard will come into focus with Robert Burns events celebrating the poet’s rich history.

In April (1-16) Edinburgh International Science Festival will celebrate Scotland’s Themed Year with Moments in Time – a family friendly outdoor installation, situated on the Mound featuring a series of iconic Scottish police boxes that will ‘transport’ visitors back in time to pivotal moments in Scotland’s scientific history.

Over the summer season, visitors and residents alike can soak up Scottish historical culture with the Festival of Museums (May), a major Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobite exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland (June – Nov) and in August, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo will unite with the Scottish Diaspora to create a ‘Splash of Tartan’.

Scotland will be celebrating a number of significant anniversaries through the historical year including the 70th anniversary of Edinburgh as a world leading festival city (with early celebrations beginning at Edinburgh Hogmanay’s Midnight Moment), the 20th anniversary of Scottish Crannog Centre, 250th anniversary of Edinburgh New Town Plan, 30th anniversary of Beltane Fire Society and the 400th anniversary of the General Register of Sasines –the oldest public land register in the world.


The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017 will begin on 1 January 2017 and end on 31 December 2017.  For more information, please visit: www.visitscotland.com/hha2017