• LiDAR_image

    Post-medieval clearance cairns overlie traces of prehistoric agriculture

  • Castlehill Heritage Centre in Castletown will be the central hub for project activities

  • A hut circle and possible burnt mound are visible in the LiDAR data - both characteristic of the Bronze Age

  • LiDAR gives us a 3D bird's-eye view across Caithness' landscapes

Summer 2015 saw the launch of en exciting new community archaeology initiative from Castletown Heritage Society: A Window on the Hidden Bronze Age Landscape of Caithness. This innovative project represented a new chapter in the exploration of Caithness’ prehistoric past, using cutting-edge technology to identify and select features for investigation. Targeted archaeological survey and excavation was carried out by volunteers under the guidance of archaeologists from AOC Archaeology Group, as part of a structured summer school. Training was central to the project’s aims, with participants learning new skills or building on previous experience. Castlehill Heritage Centre was the project’s central hub, with indoor learning sessions, evening events and crafts workshops taking place there throughout the summer and into the autumn.

The survey and excavations were informed by airborne laser scan data (LiDAR), which has revealed hundreds of features which may represent archaeological sites, including numerous possible hut circles, the remains of prehistoric roundhouses. These features are characteristic of the Bronze Age (c. 2500-700BC).

The archaeological fieldwork and training were complemented by a number of evening events and crafts workshops – from prehistoric pottery to ancient foods. Travel back in time with us!

Following the end of the fieldwork, a new digital resource will be designed and installed at Castlehill Heritage Centre, enabling visitors to explore in 3D the LiDAR data and the hidden landscapes of Caithness.

Follow project progress on Castlehill Heritage Centre’s Facebook page: