Places Available on ‘Our Islands, Our Past’ Conference Fieldtrip – 14th September

Earls Palace, Palace Village, Birsay

Sustainability and Conservation in an Island context.

The University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute is pleased to announce that extra places are now available on the ‘Our Islands, Our Past’ Conference fieldtrip to West Mainland, Orkney.

Due to demand there will be an extra mini bus which means that we can now offer this exciting fieldtrip to an increased number of delegates. If you have not registered then there is a section on the form which you can fill in….if you have registered and want to attend the fieldtrip then contact us on If you haven’t registered yet then Download Our Islands Our Past Conference Registration Form and send it to us over the same e-mail address.

This fieldtrip includes sites and landscapes from prehistory to the present, in the dynamic landscape of Orkney’s Atlantic coast. During the day-long trip we will see some of the well-known and World Heritage sites from different perspectives, and not so well known sites and visitor attractions. The fieldtrip will consider islands’ sustainability in relation to economic development, climate change, and community, thinking about sustainability in the past, and into the future.

In Birsay we will visit the Earl’s Palace and Birsay village, thinking about Birsay’s place in the Orkney Earldom, and examining the role of Birsay in the Magnus 900 events and new Pilgrimage Route. At the Brough of Birsay the Pictish and Norse sites give a focus for discussion of coastal erosion and conservation and management.

Barony Mill – a working water mill

The Barony Mills highlight the role of community again in Birsay’s heritage, and illustrate sustainability, heritage and economic development past and present.

At Skaill Bay we will examine settlement and coastal change through the millennia, with illustration of resilience and adaptation as well as abandonment. Sites visited will include WHS Skara Brae, and Verron Broch at the other end of Skaill Bay.

Join the conversation and use our hashtag #oiopconference

See ‘Our Islands, Our Past’ Conference website.

‘Our Islands, Our Past’ Conference-International Speaker Line-up.

Ring of Brodgar
Ring of Brodgar. Photo: Jim Richardson.

The University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute looks forward to welcoming an impressive line-up of speakers and contributors to the ‘Our Islands, Our Past’ Conference on the 14th- 17th September.

The conference sessions include speakers from around the globe on themes relevant to island life – past, present and future.

  • Session One: The Three Islands Group Research Framework (more on this session in a later separate blog)
  • Session Two: Identity and Culture
  • Session Three: Sustainability and Conservation
  • Session Four: Migration and Abandonment
  • Session Five: Connectivity and Travel
  • Session Six: Island Culture and Place

We look forward to welcoming an international array of delegates including  Adam Markham, Deputy Director of Climate & Energy the Union of Concerned Scientists, who will be opening Session Three with a paper entitled: Climate Change, Island World Heritage, and Lessons from Community Responses.

Adam writes in his abstract,Cultural resources, including archaeology, historic sites and intangible heritage are at risk from climate change on islands the world over. Climate impacts include sea level rise, coastal erosion, and extreme weather events. Irreplaceable archaeological and other cultural resources are being lost at an alarming rate, and with them, important and sacred places, and some of the stories and histories that help provide peoples’ sense of belonging. Island World Heritage sites provide an opportunity to draw local and international attention to the threat posed by climate change and to the special circumstances island communities face in responding to change. ”

Come along and listen to Adam in person at 11am Saturday 16th September 2017 when he is scheduled to present his paper.

Everyone is welcome to attend…register by sending in the Conference Registration Form to

See our Conference website for more details on ‘Our Islands, Our Past’ Conference 2017.

Follow the conference on Twitter #oiopconference