Community archaeology

ORCA has a strong commitment to outreach and training – placing archaeology in the community and using our experience to train local people in archaeological techniques.

We have a dedicated Lifelong Learning and Outreach Archaeologist, who has developed close links with both local groups and national funding organisations, and has enabled communities to develop their own outreach and training programmes.

Outreach and training services

ORCA believes in taking archaeology into the community and using it to help develop projects that the local community want.

Whether it is developing a local secondary school history curriculum on the historical growth of Kirkwall, using the latest archaeological techniques to find an old shoreline, or helping a heritage trust interpret a shipwreck, the ORCA outreach and training team can help realise a local community’s heritage aims.

Terrestrial community projects

Community Excavation.

We help communities develop their own ideas and the ORCA team are skilled at designing projects that involve local people and help create a heightened sense of community.

We have worked with the Kirkwall Townscape Heritage Initiative offering community training and memorable hands-on experience. This project aims to increase people’s understanding of Kirkwall through archaeological research techniques. Initial building survey work was followed by garden digs and a larger public dig in the town centre.

Archaeology in schools

The outreach team have particular experience in organising archaeology for schools.

Projects have included “The Big Day Out” to the UNESCO World Heritage site in Orkney for Kirkwall Grammar School, and Tombs of the Isles visits to schools in Orkney’s North Isles.

Terrestrial training courses

Excavation at the Ness of Brodgar, Stenness, Orkney.
Excavation at the Ness of Brodgar, Stenness, Orkney.

ORCA provides Continued Professional Development (CPD) training and evening classes including:

  • Introduction to Archaeology
  • Environmental archaeology
  • Introduction to GIS 
  • Archaeological field schools at the Ness of Brodgar and The Cairns

We can design a course tailored to your requirements in both theoretical and practical workshop sessions. We have a full video conference facility for distance learning.

Nautical Archaeology Society Courses

ORCA provides qualified instructors to deliver NAS courses  including recorder and surveyor skills days, mapping, GIS, ROV and side scan sonar surveys.

Marine community projects

A cannon from the Utrecht, Sanday, Orkney.

ORCA help communities design and undertake coastal and underwater archaeological projects, involving local people, and helping create a heightened sense of community.

ORCA work with communities to identify how they can develop their own ideas and investigations incorporating all aspects of coastal and marine archaeology including diving, coastal walking, GIS mapping, peat and wood recording.