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Archaeology Dig to start at Iron Age site in Caithness

13th August 2019

Photograph of Archaeology Dig to start at Iron Age site in Caithness

The University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute, in partnership with the Yarrows Heritage Trust, are preparing for a fourth season of excavation at the Burn of Swartigill in Thrumster, Caithness, Scotland.

Previous seasons of excavation at the site have uncovered a complex of Iron Age structures, which are providing an important window into Iron Age society away from the monumental architecture of the Brochs.

This season the team led by Rick Barton from ORCA Archaeology hope to continue to reveal the extent of some of these structures so that they can better understand just how complex the site is. We will also be aiming to recover more information about what life was like for the Iron Age people who lived there two thousand years ago. Analysis of the precious remnants of people's day to day lives will not only help us to understand the environment and economy of the site at the Burn of Swartigill, but also potentially that of Iron Age Scotland in a much broader context.

The 2019 excavations commence on 19th of August and will continue until 8th of September. The site is located near Thrumster House, a few miles south of Wick. To get to the site, you need to take the Haster and Tannach road from Thrumster and look out for our signs just before the bridge crossing at the Burn of Swartigill. There is limited parking at the roadside, and the dig is a short hike across boggy moorland.

Tours are available and the archaeologists will be on site every day of the week between Monday 19th and Thursday 29th of August 2019. The excavation will then continue from Tuesday 3rd of September until Sunday 8th of September 2019.

Volunteers are welcome and you don't need any archaeological experience to take part. Contact studyarchaeology@uhi.ac.uk for more information or arrive on the day!

Dig notes from 2018

Swartigill Burn Walk in 2002

Photo
The landscape of the Swartigill Burn site. Photo: Bobby Friel @Takethehighview

 

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