Lochaber, Skye and Lochalsh all feature in Highland Archaeology Festival

Chairperson of The Highland Council’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Trish Robertson, right, joins council archaeologist Kirsty Cameron to launch the 2021 Highland Archaeology Festival. Photograph: Ewen Weatherspoon. NO F39 archaeology festival
Chairperson of The Highland Council’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Trish Robertson, right, joins council archaeologist Kirsty Cameron to launch the 2021 Highland Archaeology Festival. Photograph: Ewen Weatherspoon. NO F39 archaeology festival

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Sites of interest in Lochaber, Skye and Lochalsh are among those featuring in this month’s Highland Archaeology Festival.

The three-week festival kicks off on Saturday and will offer a range of walks, talks, workshops, exhibitions, and activities for all ages.

The festival is organised by The Highland Council’s Development and Infrastructure Service and features over a hundred events, including special exhibitions at museums, as well as geocaches and trails exploring the area’s rich heritage from prehistoric times through to the 20th century.

West Highland Museum in Fort William has organised a range of walks in the town and surrounding areas, as well as a session focussing on metal detecting in Lochaber.

Glenfinnan Station Museum has also organised a special exhibition about the building of the Mallaig railway.

Skye and Lochalsh have walks at the marble quarries at Broadford, Pictish and Medieval remains at St Columba’s Isle and Tote, and multi-period sites around Camus Cross and Isle Ornsay.  A special family Viking activity day is also taking place at Kyle of Lochalsh.

Chairperson of The Highland Council’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Trish Robertson, said the festival was the premier event of its kind in Scotland.

‘We live in an area where the heritage is so accessible, with many local societies and museums promoting their area and undertaking important projects,’ she added.

‘Scotland’s Archaeology Strategy notes that archaeology is for everyone, contributing to our wellbeing and knowledge, and to our economic growth and quality of life.

‘What better way to showcase this than by a festival stretching across the Highlands and celebrating the range and diversity of our heritage.’

Council Archaeologist Kirsty Cameron added: ‘We’re delighted to be able to run the events programme again this year and it’s fantastic that so many organisations and museums have offered activities which celebrate archaeology, history and heritage.

‘Walks to special places are always popular, and people are keen to get out and about more, especially after the past year.

‘Last year due to Covid we organised a series of online talks, attracting people from all over the world. This year we have organised an expanded programme of lunchtime and evening talks.

‘Other sessions include a focus on the potential of archaeology to promote Highland tourism, reports on recent excavations, the ever-popular topic of whisky heritage, a focus on some architectural gems, scientific analysis of castle mortars, the potential of tree ring dating, a look at some key Highland finds, and a session profiling new student research.’

Details on these, with links to online events, can be found on the Highland Archaeology Festival website www.highlandarchaeologyfestival.org