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Highland Archaeology Festival - 28 September to 13 October 2013

23 September 2013

Highland Archaeology Festival - 28 September to 13 October 2013We spoke to the organisers of the Highland Archaeology Festival 2013 about what treats are in store for this year.

How many events do you have planned for the festival? 

We have well over 100 events in the programme including guided walks and bike rides, lectures, exhibitions and family events. The festival covers not only archaeological sites but also prehistoric and cultural landscapes and also more recent history such as the planned village of Plockton and the World War Two defences around Loch Ewe.

What's new for this year? 

There are a lot of new events this year as well as some of our old favourites. New walks include one around the Neolithic landscape of Assynt; a walk up the Caledonian Canal at Muirton, Inverness led by a real Victorian engineer (!); a guided walk around the policies of Castle Leod, Strathpeffer; and a walk looking at place-names and Gaelic in the landscape on Skye. 

The programme also features new exhibitions such as at Nigg Old Church illustrating the redisplay of the Nigg cross-slab and an exhibition in Ullapool Museum and Eden Court, Inverness showcasing the results of the Wedigs prehistoric roundhouse project.

Are there any events particularly suitable for those new to archaeology?

For families who want to get involved in the world of archaeology I would recommend the Junior Archaeologist: Brave! event on Skye when you will journey back to a time when bears roamed Scotland and wolves howled in the coires.

Those wanting to get their hands dirty can get training shoulder-to-shoulder with professional archaeologists during the excavation of the Warehouse chambered cairns in Caithness and for those wanting to experience the thrill of discovering new sites in the landscape can join the North of Scotland Archaeology Society for a walk in the hills above Beauly.

What's your most unusual event? 

The Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore are presenting free 'A day in the life of a 1700s Highland township', when costumed interpreters will bring the township to life with demonstrations of cooking, weaving and wood working. There may also be a Jacobite or two  to spot amongst the township buildings.

And a recommended event for if the weather's awful?

Indoor events this year include Railways in the Highlands at the Highland Archive Centre, Inverness where expert speakers will guide you through original archive material and displays. In addition Inverness Museum are allowing a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the archaeological objects held in the reserve collections – a real chance to get your hands on the past. 

The festival finale is our two-day conference, Recent Archaeological Discoveries and Research, which illuminates the results of important excavations and projects across Highland.

For the full programme, visit the Highland Archaeology Festival 2013 website.

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