The range of archaeological endeavour through centuries of investigations, both antiquarian and professional, provides a rare history of the subject. The wealth of Orkney’s archaeology is unquestioned and has been the result of the activities of major landowners, such as Grant and those they patronised. Whilst the records of these interventions are often scant, personal diaries in archive repositories shed light on early archaeological approaches and enable an insight into the world of the excavators and the early discoveries.
Antiquarian excavators have left behind a rich record which has been built on in more recent decades. Gaining an understanding of both the archaeological activities and the excavators themselves is crucial in enabling all records to be integrated in our interpretation of many sites.
A series of conversations is proposed between currently active archaeologists and the scholars who have sought to interpret and understand Orkney’s past through excavations in previous decades. The first guest will be Dr David Clarke, hosted by Prof Mark Edmunds in front of an audience in Orkney. Dr Clarke is renowned for his work at both Skara Brae and Links of Noltland in the 1970s. He is a well known figure in Orcadian Archaeology and former Keeper of Archaeology at the National Museums of Scotland. The event will be recorded and uploaded for wider and longer lasting viewing
The same interview format will continue at intervals over the next year or so, and hopefully include such names as Prof Lord Colin Renfrew (Quanterness), Dr Anna Ritchie (Buckquoy and Knap of Howar) Prof Chris Morris (Birsay and Deerness) Prof James Graham Campbell ( Viking silver hoards and Viking pagan graves). Each will be in conversation with well renowned and currently active archaeologists.
We stand on the shoulders of giants in Orkney’s rich archaeological heritage, what better way to recognise this as a fitting legacy project for OAS.
Here is the talk. If you enjoyed it please donate via our Donate page