Each year we receive requests from young people around the world to volunteer at our summer archaeology digs in addition to the many students who work with us.
Dan Lee, Lifelong Learning & Outreach Archaeologist The University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute, has been working with the Orkney Community Learning and Development team to formulate an exciting archaeology programme tailored to these young people.
The calendar of events forms part of the Year of Young People programme, aimed at inspiring Scotland through its young people – celebrating their achievements and valuing their contribution to communities, and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally.
We now have the largest number of young people volunteering at our excavations than at any time in the last ten years – whether as students from the University of the Highlands and Islands, other national and international universities, voluntary organisations, pupils from local schools or young people interested in archaeology living in Orkney and further afield.
18th June – 13th July. The Cairns Excavations, Windwick, South Ronaldsay
4th July – 22nd August. The Ness of Brodgar, Stenness
6th July. The Cairns Open Day
7th July – 4th August. Cata Sand Excavations, Tresness and Loth Road, Sanday
9th July – 22nd July. Skaill Farmstead Excavations, Westness, Rousay
15th July. Ness of Brodgar Open Day
21st & 22nd July. Skaill Farmstead Open Weekend, Westness, Rousay
24th & 31st July. Ness of Brodgar. Digging Up The Past workshops. Booking if required for this event. Book here.
7th & 14th August. Ness of Brodgar Digging Up The Past workshops. . Booking if required for this event. Book here.
19th August. Ness of Brodgar Open Day
The full Orkney calendar of events is available here….
At the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute we are developing ways to provide young people with an opportunity to experience archaeology in a workplace environment.
Travis, a 16 year old S5 pupil at Kirkwall Grammar School in Orkney, is currently undertaking a work placement with us. Each week Travis works with our team at the Institute learning new skills and gaining vocational training. The emphasis is on understanding some of the processes of archaeological work, from the field to the archive.
He has the opportunity to develop skills in a wide variety of areas including finds washing, wet sieving, archiving, photography, excavation, field walking and digital archaeology. In fact as part of the archaeology team, Travis is contributing to the archaeological research taking place in the Institute and is gaining a whole range of experience that will help him develop his career path.
Travis continues, ” I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, and when the UHI came into the school and we helped in the archaeology at the RBS Bank (part of the Kirkwall THI project), I thought that this was something that I was interested in. So I e-mailed Dan Lee and he offered a work placement at the University. I was involved in the Mapping Magnus dig in 2017 where I joined the excavation team and found a piece of pottery. That was exciting and despite the weather I really enjoyed it. I have been asked if I would like to help at the Ness of Brodgar in the summer and I am really looking forward to that.”
Travis went on to say that he would like to continue to study archaeology and ideally continue to work in Orkney on some of the incredible sites located on the islands.
Travis is using a BAJR Archaeology Skills Passport to document his progress and log his training. The passport has been designed by British Archaeological Jobs and Resources to help students and volunteers document the main skills that they need to gain employment as a professional archaeologist. All of our students are issued with a BAJR passport to record their practical training. They can be obtained from the skills passport website.
Throughout the summer, if you are aged between 12 and 16, you could be part of the dig team for one morning at the world famous Ness of Brodgar archaeology dig.
The dates are as follows:
24th July 2018
31st July 2018
7th August 2018
14th August 2018
Each session starts at 9.30am and ends at 12.30pm.
You will be involved in workshops on archaeological techniques and finds….. and you will have the opportunity to dig at the world renowned Ness of Brodgar dig. This is your chance to get hands on and learn some new stuff about archaeology!
We advise that you wear stout boots, warm clothes, bring a water bottle or drink and waterproofs – just in case there is a passing rain shower. Lunch is not provided, so bring along a snack too. All sessions will be under the supervision of Historic Environment Scotland rangers and archaeologists from the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute.
There is no charge for the sessions.
These ‘Digging up the Past’ sessions are very popular so booking is essential. If you want to take part then please contact the rangers on 01856 841732 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org