Coastal Erosion and Heritage in Orkney- New Trust Launched

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Whenever the weather forecast is on the TV, my eyes always drift to the top of the map. This, I suppose, is natural as I live with my family in Orkney and the weather decides how we live our life that day.

The forecast for the end of this week (w/e 13th January 2017) looks interesting – a severe weather warning involving high winds and snow showers.

However, the combined power of the wind, rain and the action of the sea is also more than a way of life in Orkney, it is affecting the very existence of many heritage sites in the archipelago. It is well known that Orkney possesses amazing world-class sites, but the area has also been identified as an area that experiences some of the worst coastal erosion issues in Scotland.

Coastal erosion combined with climate change is, of course, an international issue and it is heartening to see that Historic Environment Scotland has recognised the problem as recently reported by BBC News.

archaeology-on-the-edgeIn the light of the issue, the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute in partnership with staff from the University of Bradford, The City University of New York, The William Paterson University of New Jersey, Orkney Islands Council and REW Development Trust have created the Swandro-Orkney Coastal Archaeology Trust. The trust is aimed at providing resources for the continued work at Swandro-a priority archaeological site that is in imminent danger of destruction from coastal erosion.

 

Click through to the Swandro-Orkney Coastal Archaeology Trust website and blog for more details.

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Rousay excavations at Swandro and Skaill starting this week!

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Investigations at Westness, Rousay start this week

Lots of opportunities to get involved, from workshops, kids summer club, volunteering on site and placement training.

Two Excavations along the Westness shore start this week: at the coastally eroding site at Swandro and Viking Farmstead at Skaill, Westness, Rousay, start next week. Combined, these aim to investigate the deep history of this fascinating stretch of coast.

Swandro excavations: 4-29 July – Local volunteer opportunities. Two 2 week placements for local residents available for mid to late July. Help us excavate this Neolithic to Viking aged site that is being eroded by the sea. Project details and reports here.

Skaill farmstead excavations: 4-8th July – Local volunteers welcome. Help us excavate some test trenches to investiagte the Viking farmstead below the current ruined farm buildings.

Contact Sean Page for details 01856 569229 sean.page@uhi.ac.uk