Groups from schools and educational establishments will be able to explore deep beneath Edinburgh Castle. © Edinburgh Castle
The annual Scottish Archaeology Month is set to kick off with almost 300 events planned across the country during September 2006.
Organised by the Council for Scottish Archaeology (CSA), all events are free and aim to celebrate Scotland’s rich archaeological heritage through a diverse programme. Events range from guided tours and excavation open days to family activities, exhibitions and skills workshops.
“Scottish Archaeology Month is the unique opportunity for people to go out and enjoy Scotland’s rich archaeological heritage,” explained CSA Director Eila Macqueen. “I really hope that people go out and see some of these events and experience something they may not have done before.”
Among the month’s many highlights are visits to the Newbarns project in Dalbeattie to explore the Neolithic chambered cairns, while in Edinburgh, Introduction To Archaeological Skills workshops are running at Headland Archaeology every Saturday during Scottish Archaeology Month.
Visitors to Stirling Castle can get a special update on the plans there to restore this magnificent Renaissance palace. © Historic Scotland
Visitors to Arran can join in with workshops and get involved in fieldwork discovering the island’s Bronze Age history. Tours of Logan windmill, sawmill and cornmill in Galloway explore a later age whilst further north guides will be taking visitors around the ancient harbours of the Dunnett coastline – the most northerly tip of the UK mainland.
Hikes and trails in the month-long programme of events include a 15 kilometre trek following the Roman roads and camps around Chew Green and an 11 kilometre Bannockburn Battlefield Walk, examining the candidates for the site of the famous battle.
Historic Scotland are also getting behind Scottish Archaeology Month with some rare opportunities to have specialist guided tours and behind the scenes insights into their properties.
Architecture and archaeology experts from Historic Scotland’s inspectorate team will be conducting one-off tours of Dunfermline Abbey, Craignethan Castle, Huntley Castle, Elcho Castle and Whithorn Priory.
Specialists will be interpreting the Viking inscriptions at Maes Howe in Orkney. © Historic Scotland
Specialists in Norse language and culture will be providing a first hand interpretation of the inscriptions left by Vikings inside the tomb at Maes Howe, Orkney, and there will be a special update on the Stirling Project, the ongoing programme to restore Stirling Castle, Scotland’s greatest Renaissance palace and home to James V and Mary of Guise.
Schools and educational groups can also venture underground beneath the Half Moon Battery at Edinburgh Castle and see some of the oldest parts of the ancient fortress, normally off limits to the public.
Full details and dates of all the events can be found on the CSA website, where you can download a copy of the Scottish Archaeology Month National Events Guide.