Guest post by Julianne McGraw.
Dig It! 2015 has begun and you’re invited to join in with the year-long celebration of Scottish archaeology! After all, archaeology is about you, me and all the people who’ve gone before us. It’s about identities and a sense of belonging. It’s about getting muddy – or staying laboratory clean – and having fun. To put it simply, archaeology is for everyone!
Photo credit - Neil Hanna
Over a hundred events are listed on www.digit2015.com and hundreds more will be added throughout the year. To give you an idea of what’s going on, a few highlights have been listed below...
Out of Time: Memories of the Neolithic - Scotland is rich in Neolithic monuments and photographer David Paterson has been capturing them from the 1970s to the present day. Visit the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum until 1 March 2015 to enjoy this exhibition of beautiful images of these massive stone tombs of the first farmers. According to Paterson, “They are messages written on the landscape; memories from out of time.” More info
Crafting Kingdoms: The Rise of the Northern Picts - Drawing on recent excavations, this exhibition at King’s Museum in Aberdeen explores the origins of the Pictish kingdoms of Northern Scotland. Open until 31 May 2015, objects on show for the first time include a recently unearthed Pictish silver hoard, new finds from the excavations at Rhynie, as well as a beautiful Pictish silver chain and a carved stone depicting a sea eagle. More info
Photo credit - Neil Hanna
The Return of the Romans – From 14 February to 30 April 2015, visit the Auld Kirk Museum in Kirkintilloch to learn about what life was like along the Antonine Wall, the North West Frontier of the Roman Empire, nearly two thousand years ago. On Saturday 14 February, members of the Antonine Guard will be on duty, and they will be happy to speak to visitors about the Romans in Scotland. As an added bonus, children can dress up in Roman armour and togas! More info
Treasures Found: Archaeology From the East of Scotland - From 9 March 2015 to 31 May 2016, discover fascinating recent archaeological finds from the East of Scotland. From a Bronze Age spearhead to roman coins and a medieval pilgrim badge, these objects shed light on the fascinating history of the area. Museums in Fife, Edinburgh, West Lothian, East Lothian and Scottish Borders have come together to create this stunning exhibition. At each venue there will be accompanying events, more details of which will be released closer to the time. More info
The Jacobites: Braemar's Risings – From 4 April to 31 October, visit Braemar Castle in Aberdeenshire to discover the role Braemar and its castle had to play in the Jacobite Uprisings of the 17th and 18th centuries. Learn to dress as a Jacobite, find out how the castle got burnt down and uncover authentic Jacobite weaponry which has been hidden away for many years. More info
Pancakes and Chocolate Taster – On Sunday 5 April at The Scottish Crannog Centre in Perthshire, celebrate Easter, Iron-Age style by enjoying pancakes cooked over an open fire, making your own bread rolls baked in traditional clay ovens and churning your own butter to spread on them. Chocolate Tasters provide a twist our ancestors could only have dreamt about. More info
Most of these activities are free and open to everyone. Please note that all events may be subject to change and it is recommended that you check the website for additional details. What are you waiting for? Grab your trowel and start discovering Scotland’s stories!
Biography for DigIt! 2015
Dig It! 2015 is co-ordinated by two charities – the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and Archaeology Scotland. The Society promotes research into the past and Archaeology Scotland focuses on education, promotion and support of our archaeological heritage. We are supported by a range of partners, including local authorities, societies, universities, national agencies, societies, museums, and commercial companies. Historic Scotland have provided funding support and the idea for Dig It! originally came from Glasgow Life and the Hunterian Museum.