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Archaeology Scotland

Digging for gold? Or just looking. There’s a rich and vast seam of history running the length and breadth of Scotland. Many archaeological remains lie off the beaten track, waiting to be discovered, while our most valuable and famous monumental attractions stand tall, protected by the state. Why not witness history brought to life in one of our visitor centres, or go to a dig and watch history unfold before you.

activity highlights

April to September, West Lothian

Cairnpapple Hill is one of mainland Scotland’s most important prehistoric sites.

April - September, Orkney

Strikingly positioned beside Eynhallow Sound with views across to the island of Rousay, the Broch of Gurness (Aikerness Broch) is one of the most outstanding surviving examples of a later prehistoric (Iron-Age) settlement that is unique to northern Scotland.

Mid June - September, Birsay

Birsay is a tidal island with Pictish and Viking settlements which include some of the finest examples of Norse hall-houses so far found in Scotland.

April to September, Burray

Displays of local and worldwide fossils and glow in the dark minerals, vintage exhibits and old joinery tools.

Year-round, Shetland:

A good example of a broch tower with associated secondary buildings of Iron Age date.

Year-round, Shetland:

The best preserved broch in Scotland, Mousa Broch is over 13m tall, a little short of its original height.

Year-round, Orkney:

Perched above the dramatic South Ronaldsay cliffs, the Isbister Chambered Cairn - better known today as the ‘Tomb of the Eagles’ - is one of Orkney’s top archaeological sites.

Year-round, Orkney:

Blackhammer Chambered Cairn is a neolithic burial cairn, similar in general shape and subdivisions to the contemporary Neolithic houses at Knap of Howar.

Year-round, Orkney:

Click Mill is the last surviving horizontal water mill in Orkney, of a type well represented in Shetland and Lewis.

Year-round, Orkney:

The 5,000-year-old monument known as the Dwarfie Stane is a huge block of sandstone in which a Neolithic burial chamber has been cut.

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