Highland Archaeology Festival

By Reporter, The HighLand Times, Monday October 9 2017

If you have been inspired by all the archaeology news stories in recent weeks you will love the spectacular finale to Highland Archaeology Festival which has provided a packed two-week programme for 2017; the Scottish Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

The final weekend promises a great way to learn more by providing opportunities to dive in, meet the archaeologists and share your own local knowledge and research. 

It’s not essential to have a qualification or years of experience, just bring a thirst for knowledge and join in the celebration of history, heritage and archaeology. 

The annual conference runs for two days over the weekend of the 14th and 15th October and promises to showcase the results of recent fieldwork and research from across the Highlands.

The conference has always aimed to provide a platform for sharing research and the programme this year promises a vibrant and eclectic mix of ongoing investigations from commercial archaeologists, national bodies, universities and communities working together as well as on their own projects.

Talks will range from studies carried out in advance of major infrastructure developments such as the West Link road in Inverness as well as the truly fascinating results of ambitious and successful community-led excavations at Clachtoll Broch, an 18th century inn near Brora and early prehistoric traces from Staffin. 

The programme includes fresh forensic investigations of evidence from Massacre Cave on Eigg and a detailed examination of a brutal murder in Rosemarkie. 

More excavations in recent years have shed new light on our past as fascinating glimpses of prehistory have been found far and wide across the highlands in Strathspey, Ardnamurchan, Strathnaver and Swartigill and the results will be presented at the conference.

Entry is free to the festival Keynote Talk on the evening of Friday 13th October when Dr Alison Sheridan of the National Museum of Scotland will describe how ancient DNA analysis has further changed our understanding of Highland prehistory. 

If you want to get really stuck in, an afternoon of hands-on workshops on Friday 13th October means you can learn directly from the experts on subjects as diverse as studying historic maps; how best to use GPS for survey and mapping; how to read a building; investigating the landscape with aerial photography; and how to find out absolutely everything about historic and archaeological sites on your doorstep.

All these events take place at the Highland Council Chamber, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness and the website www.highlandarchaeologyfestival.org provides further information on all the activities and booking for the workshops and conference.



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