The archaeology dig season 2018 is rapidly approaching in Orkney.
Archaeologists from the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute, ORCA, UClan, the University of Bradford, Willamette University, the Swandro-Orkney Coastal Archaeology Trust, the Ness of Brodgar Trust in addition to a small army of volunteers are all preparing for the forthcoming programme of excavation and events.
Judging by social media conversations it would seem that 2018 will be another record year for visitors to Orkney and to make it easier for people to find the archaeology we have created an interactive map.
Some of the sites are off the beaten track so don’t forget to pack sturdy boots, warm clothing and some waterproofs…just in case you are caught in a rain shower. The sites will close if the weather is too bad, so please check with us if you are planning a trip to one of the outer islands.
Click on the markers and you should see details of the site with web links and directions. To find directions from your present location or another location of your choice:
Click on the place marker on the interactive map above
A box showing a picture of the site, the name of the site, latitude and longitude, description of the site and a link to the site website or blog
Click on the right hand arrow in the red box under the picture of the site
Google Maps will then appear.
Type in your location or let the GPS on your phone find your location for you
Google will show you a route, how long it takes and suggestions for transport operators. It may even show you places of interest, roadworks and alternative routes.
University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute Masters student Jim Bright talks us through his role as The Cairns Digital Archaeologist.
“Over the excavation season at The Cairns Project, I’ll be spending time as the ‘on-site digital archaeologist’. That may sound like an unusual term and one of the reasons for this is that, put simply, it is an unusual thing to do.
Quite often, digital work undertaken for archaeological excavations is completed after the dig season has finished. 3D models of finds created using photogrammetry are usually made in the comfort of a warm office or lab after the finds have been categorised, labelled and wrapped up for preservation, or put on display in a museum. 3D models of trenches during an excavation season are sometimes made, however usually this is just a single model of a particular context during excavation.
Being on the excavation site for the entirety of the dig here at The Cairns, enables the opportunity to generate some 3D models of the same trench at different phases, when different contexts are being discovered. Moreover, when a particularly interesting find is discovered, I can be there to make a 3D model just as it’s unearthed. That way, we can get some 3D models out there for everyone to view the day they are found. Recently, I made the model below of what has been termed the ‘Red Cell’. The Red Cell is a small compartment or room, just off from the centre of the broch.
I’ll be posting more models over the season which I will include in future blogs. Some models may appear on the Friends of the Cairns Facebook page and the @thecairnsbroch twitter page, along with the @UHIArchaeology page, all great sources for information about the Cairns project and what we are doing.
I will also be trying out some interesting new techniques for photogrammetry, utilising different software packages and trying out some experimental digital archaeology, so there will be a lot to see and a lot to write about. Indeed there will be much for me to reflect on during my placement here as a Masters degree student at UHI.”
Blog written by Jim Bright, MSc Archaeological Practice student at the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute