Grants Awarded in 2015

The Orkney Archaeology Society fund raises throughout the year and all the money we raise from this and from membership fees goes to support archaeology in Orkney.

During 2015 the Society gave a total of £9595 in grants to fund a diverse range of projects:

·         £2400 to the Gateway to the Atlantic: excavations at the Knowe of Swandro, Rousay


·         £420 to fund analysis of micromorphology samples taken at the Ness of Brodgar excavation


·         £975 to fund radiocarbon dating of Pictish burials recovered in Rousay for the project:  ‘Putting Flesh on the Bones’


·         £800 to fund an open access online image library of stone tools from Orkney as part of the ‘Working Stone, Making Communities’ project


·         £1750 to the Cairns excavation, Windwick Iron Age & Pictish site


·         £750 towards the Hoy and South Walls Landscape Project Rackwick, Hoy archaeological survey involving local community volunteers


·         £400 to fund geophysics at the Braes of Ha’Breck, in the island of Wyre


·         £150 towards the Yesnaby Art & Archaeology Research Project


·         £400 to help establish an Orkney Young Archaeologist club


·         £650 Landscapes of Change: Archaeologies of the Rousay Clearances


·         £900 Prospecting for Orkney’s Maritime Heritage programme of marine and onshore survey fieldwork




OAS receives Sharing Heritage Fieldwalking grant

Sharing Heritage: Orkney World Heritage Site Fieldwalking Project celebrates £9900 Heritage Lottery Fund grant

Orkney Archaeology Society has received a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Sharing Heritage grant, it was announced today (Tuesday 22nd February 2016). This exciting project, Orkney World Heritage Site Fieldwalking Project: Learning About Archaeology Amongst Orkney’s World Famous Monuments, in the West Mainland of Orkney and led by Orkney Archaeology Society with partners at the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute, has been given £9900 to undertake archaeological fieldwalking in the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site.

The project due to start this week aims to follow the process of a fieldwalking project from discovery in the field, through a series of archaeology workshops, culminating in a temporary exhibition at Tankerness House Museum in Kirkwall in the autumn.  The project is open to local volunteers who will be trained in field practice, lithics, finds processing, map making, presenting results, report writing and the final museum exhibition, which will be run as a series of workshops throughout the year. There will also be a fieldwalking workshop run in collaboration with the Historic Environment Scotland Rangers at Stenness Primary School.

Fieldwalking involves the surface collection of artefacts in ploughed fields on a grid so that distribution patterns over larger areas can be observed. Fieldwalking around Maes Howe and along the Ness of Brodgar peninsula has the potential to add a significant layer of landscape interpretations to the area. This will enhance the results from the recent World Heritage Area geophysical survey undertaken by the University’s Archaeology Institute. This revealed a multi-period landscape of enclosures, settlements, rig and furrow cultivation and prehistoric sites beneath the ground surface. Fieldwalking has already proved fruitful in the area with the discovery of Barnhouse Neolithic settlement by Professor Colin Richards in the 1980s using this technique. The current fieldwalking project will recover artefacts from every period - for example material from the WWII camps around Maes Howe- not just prehistoric finds, bringing the story of the landscape up to the present day.

There are a number of trainee places available for the fieldwalking and various follow up workshops. Contact Dan Lee at the Archaeology Institute if you wish take part. Volunteers are also needed to help with all aspects of the project.

The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and supported in kind by Historic Environment Scotland, Orkney Museums, and Professor Mark Edmonds. Orkney Archaeology Society would like to thanks local landowners for supporting the project and allowing access to fields.

Martin Carruthers, OAS Chair said:

‘Orkney Archaeology Society are excited by this fantastic opportunity to support the local community in discovering the wealth of heritage below their feet in the Orkney World Heritage Area. We are looking forward to the excitement, enjoyment and learning that such projects can bring.’


Dan Lee, Archaeology Institute Lifelong Learning and Outreach Archaeologist said:

‘We are thrilled to be working with Orkney Archaeology Society in such an iconic landscape to provide learning experiences in archaeology for the local community. We hope that local volunteers and trainees will enjoy bringing new stories to this important landscape’


Lucy Casot, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland, said: “Sharing Heritage is a wonderful opportunity for communities to delve into their local heritage and we are delighted to be able to offer this grant so that the Orkney World Heritage Site Fieldwalking Project can embark on a real journey of discovery. Heritage means such different things to different people, and HLF’s funding offers a wealth of opportunities for groups to explore and celebrate what’s important to them in their area.”

 If you would like to volunteer: 

Contact Dan Lee (University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute)

01856 569214 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




2015 World Heritage Area Fieldwalking Project

OAS members were out last week with UHI Archaeology Institute Students on a pilot World Heritage Area Fieldwalking Project that aims to run for the next few years. The aim is to investigate the multi-period landscape of the Stenness-Brodgar area with the surface collection of artefacts, building on the recent large scale geophysical survey. Watch this space for more fieldwalking opportunities. Contact Dan Lee on:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to get yourself on the fieldwalking email list

See our Facebook Page for updates, pics below are of the fieldwalking this week along with the star find:


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