Archaeology in a Day – Open Day at the UHI Archaeology Institute, Orkney

DSC_0067The University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute are teaming up with Orkney College for an Open Day on the 8th December 2017.

  • Venue: The Archaeology Institute, Orkney College UHI, East Road, Kirkwall KW15 1LX
  • Date: Friday 8th December 2017
  • Time: 1 pm to 5.00 pm

The University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute is located in one of the most exciting archaeology areas in the world – Orkney in Northern Scotland. Surrounded by thousands of archaeology sites ranging from the Neolithic to World War 2, the Archaeology Institute is well placed as a world-class teaching and research organisation to advance our understanding of the historic environment.

Orkney College prospectus shoot 2011/12

So, come along and experience hands on archaeology at our open day, talk to staff and students and discover what studying Archaeology at The University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute has to offer. You will also have the opportunity to take part in workshops on aspects of practical archaeology, including

  • using microscopes to analyse pollen and charcoal unearthed at the Ness of Brodgar
  • examining finds from The Cairns excavation
  • exploring 4000 year old ceramics
  • examining the whale bones unearthed at Cata Sands
  • creating a 3D image from a laser scanner

You will also see how we use the unique archaeological landscape of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland to further your studies. The event is open to anyone who is considering studying Archaeology at undergraduate or post graduate level in addition to anyone who is considering one of our short courses.DSC_0095

Check out our website for all our archaeology courses.

If you wish to attend then please contact Mary on 01856 569225, send us a message on our Facebook page , send us a message through Twitter @UHIArachaeology or e-mail Mary at studyarchaeology@uhi.ac.uk.

Archaeologists for a Day – School Children help out at Mapping Magnus Dig

Mapping Magnus 1a

Over the past couple of weeks, the University of the Highlands and Islands team at the Mapping Magnus excavation have involved local school children in the exciting excavations at Palace Village, Birsay, Orkney.

On 2nd to 4th October, children and teachers from Dounby Primary School, Stenness Primary School, Stromness Primary School, Evie Primary School, Firth Primary School and the Pathways to Independence Group were involved in an archaeology day at the site – building on work that they had completed in the classroom in the previous week.

The budding archaeologists arrived early on site at Palace Village, Birsay, Orkney and were keen and ready to get started. The weather tried its best to intervene, but the children were well wrapped up and enthusiastically looked forward to the first task.

Mapping Magnus 2a

This involved the children in a decision making exercise in which they searched for any existing clues in Palace Village that may help us as archaeologists narrow down the potential site of the medieval Bishop’s Palace. The children set off looking for sandstone blocks and other features that could have originated in the old medieval palace in the walls of the present settlement.

Mapping Magnus 3a

After exploring the area our volunteers then began examining some of the drawings and maps of the Palace Village alongside Dr Sarah-Jane Gibbon, Lecturer in  Archaeology at UHI Archaeology Institute, and Dan Lee, Lifelong Learning and Outreach Archaeologist at UHI Archaeology Institute, to identify any clues that may help us identify the position of the old medieval palace. This exercise was completed in the The Orkney Archaeology Society trailer which provided welcome refuge against particularly heavy rain showers….many thanks to OAS who helped make this happen.

Mapping Magnus 7a

After exploring the area and studying the documented evidence, our helpers headed to the main trench. The children were split into teams who then started washing some of the finds that had come out of our trenches, sieving deposits, excavating in the main trench and working in the smaller test pits. The teams rotated around, giving each child experience of the different aspects of field archaeology.

The day itself was very enjoyable and the team want to shout out a big thank you to all of our volunteers from Dounby Primary School, Stenness Primary School, Stromness Primary School, Evie Primary School, Firth Primary School and to the Pathways to Independence Group. Your hard work was greatly appreciated by the team and hope to see you at another excavation in the future.

Mapping Magnus 5a

If you would also like to be part of the Mapping Magnus Community Archaeology Project then please contact us at studyarchaeology@uhi.ac.uk . Future activities include geophysical survey and walkover survey at Manse Stone sites and noust survey at Marwick.

Thanks to Charlotte Hunter for contributing to the blog post and photographs. Charlotte is a MSc student at the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute and is on professional placement with us, helping with the communication of archaeology across the media.

Get involved in the conversation #MappingMagnus


The Mapping Magnus project is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Orkney Islands council and the UHI Archaeology Institute as part of Magnus 900, commemorating the 900th anniversary year of the death of St Magnus during 2017.

 

Art & Archaeology Masters Module 2017 – Enrolling now

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ART AND ARCHAEOLOGY

Contemporary Theory and Practice

Module Code: UV411013

The University of the Highlands and Islands is pleased to announce that this innovative interdisciplinary masters module is now enrolling students for 2018.

The course, that was so successful last year, can be studied either as a stand alone module or for Continuing Professional Development in the museums and galleries, community archaeology and the Creative Industries.

Designed and led by the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute and the Department of Art and Design at Orkney College UHI, this exciting course is a distance learning course and incorporates a four day residential workshop held in the unique location of Orkney, Scotland. It is a 20 credit SCQF Level 11 module which will appeal to those who have studied archaeology, art history, fine art or related subjects at undergraduate level.

  • The course can be taken as an optional elective module for students studying the Fine Art MA and the Archaeological Studies Mlitt / Archaeological Practice MSc programmes as well as other related programmes such as Music and the Environment, History, Cultural or Nordic Studies
  • Individuals may also enrol for this as a ‘stand-alone’ module, eg. as part of continuing professional development. It will be of interest to anyone based in Museums & Galleries, Community Archaeology and the Creative Industries
  • The module runs during Semester 2 – starting on February 2nd 2018 – May 2018. The schedule includes weekly lectures and seminars delivered by Video Conference and online learning – these will run on Friday morning over a 12-week period.
  • There is also an optional Residential Workshop (mid-February 2018) based in Orkney, which will involve fieldwork and practical workshops exploring art and archaeological practice.
  • The aim of the module is to research and explore the subject with an experimental approach, by looking at contemporary and historical contexts and case studies, through discussion and work with the group we hope to develop new thinking and understanding  in this exciting area.

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Outline of content:

  • Introduction to Art and Archaeology
  • Virtual Fieldtrip
  • Practical residential fieldwork & workshops in Orkney
  • Seeing, Engaging and Recording in Archaeology
  • Taking Art and Archaeology into the Landscape
  • Contemporary Art and Archaeology
  • Artefacts & Objects
  • Looking at Prehistoric Art
  • Group Presentations/ Seminars and Essay
  • Assessment and feedback

Entry requirements:  honours degree in a relevant subject such as archaeology, art, design, art history, cultural studies or other closely related discipline such as arts or museum administration. Applicants with other qualifications or relevant experience are encouraged to apply and will be considered on an individual basis. Note that students are required to cover their own travel and accommodation expenses for the four day residential workshop.

The course is also an optional module for students studying the Fine Arts MA, the Archaeological Studies MLitt, the Archaeological Practice MSc in addition to other related Music and the Environment, History, Cultural or Nordic Studies at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

To apply and for more details, please contact Mary Connolly by emailing studyarchaeology@uhi.ac.uk for an application form or 01856 569225

 

UHI Archaeology Institute lecturer recognised in student awards.

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Dr Sarah Jane Gibbon has been ‘Highly Commended’ by students studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute for her work as research and dissertation supervisor. 

Sarah Jane, lecturer in archaeology at the UHI Archaeology Institute, was praised for her “patience and genuine interest” in students’ work. One student explained “ Sarah Jane was always available for me to email and ask something. Her feedback was always invaluable, and made me feel as though she was thoroughly interested in my work, not simply because I was her student, but because I was a fellow academic.”

Speaking of her award, Sarah Jane said: “It is such an exciting time to be engaged in teaching and research at the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute. Students are always encouraged to develop their own ideas and build a deep understanding of archaeology and it is such an honour to have our efforts recognised by the student body. Thank you.”

I can’t offer any remarkable stories about being plucked from the brink of despair, but I am grateful for you considering Sarah Jane for this award as, in my experience, she constantly and unquestioningly went above and beyond the requirements of a dissertation supervisor, leaving me feeling very positive about my Masters and considering the possibility of taking research further.

The University of the Highlands and Islands was one of the first UK institutions to introduce student-led teaching awards. The initiative, now in its eighth year, recognises excellence in 14 categories, with winners coming from around the university partnership. Other staff and students who have received accolades this year are:

  • Most Inspiring Lecturer – Thomas Garnham, Inverness College UHI
  • Most Engaging Online Tutor – Tara Morrison, Inverness College UHI
  • Best Class Representative – Sheila Bowie, Inverness College UHI
  • Outstanding Lecturer of the Year – Matt Sillars, Inverness College UHI
  • Best Personal Academic Tutor – Judith Munro, Inverness College UHI
  • Most Engaging Video Conference Tutor – Andrew Jennings, Shetland College UHI
  • Best Assessment Feedback – Frances Dick, Perth College UHI
  • Best Academic Support – Heather McNeill, West Highland College UHI
  • Best Research or Dissertation Supervisor – Ragnhild Ljosland, Orkney College UHI
  • Best Support Staff – Maureen Mackenna and Judi Worthington, Argyll College UHI
  • Best Engagement with the Student Voice – Student – Scott Anderson, Argyll College UHI
  • Best Engagement with the Student Voice – Staff – Lindsay Henderson, North Highland College UHI
  • Best Contribution to Clubs and Societies – Joe Penhaul Smith, SAMS UHI
  • Outstanding Contribution to HISA – Iain Morrison – University of the Highlands and Islands

Dr Iain Morrison, dean of students at the university, said: “You cannot fool a student: they know high quality learning and teaching and great student support when they see it. The fact that there was a record number of nominations, covering every part of the university, suggests that our staff continue to provide excellent teaching and support for the people whose feedback they care about most, their students. The student testimony from these awards is genuinely moving at times and anyone considering studying with us can be assured they will be in good hands.”

Holly Scrimgeour, president of the Highlands and Islands Students’ Association, said: “The HISA Awards are an excellent opportunity for our students to celebrate the people who have supported them throughout their studies and reward them for their efforts and contributions to university life. Our lecturers and support staff are vital to the student experience during study and these awards allow us an insight into who is going above and beyond to positively benefit our student population. The nominations are a delight to read. The HISA Awards also acknowledge our class representatives and clubs and societies ensuring that we celebrate those students who give their time and support to their classmates. It is an honour to give these awards.”