8.3.11 Community involvement

One of the key archaeological surveys of a region in Scotland was undertaken in the 1950s by two local amateur archaeologists, Mary Sandeman and Marion Campbell of Kilberry (1962). Their survey of Mid-Argyll included all periods, and as well as identifying and describing sites and monuments, they recorded a great deal of interesting local knowledge and folklore. This pioneering work, along with that of Dorothy Marshall in Bute, led to the re-invigoration of several local societies, particularly supported by Eric Cregeen of the School of Scottish Studies, and Jack Scott of Kelvingrove Museum [http://www.glasgowlife.org.uk].

Many of these are still active today, and new groups have formed, for example the Hidden Heritage [http://www.hiddenheritage.org.uk/project/] project at Arrochar and Tarbet. This project brought together survey, excavation and place name study of the area which resulted in both academic publication on Gaelic place-names under the guidance of Simon Taylor (Carmichael et al. 2014), and more specifically local publication including a Viking heritage trail in the district (Arrochar and Tarbet CDT).

Excavation and survey involving local communities has also been instigated by Kilmartin Museum, for example the important medieval fort of Dun Mhuirich (CANMORE ID 39122) (see  also Case Study 10: Dun Mhuirich Excavation) (Regan 2012, 2013), and on Bute, where the Bute Heritage Project has carried out a number of initiatives, and produced publications (Duffy 2012).

There are also active groups on Lismore, where West Highland grave-slabs have been recently re-housed; on Islay with a project centred around the Kildalton Cross (CANMORE ID 251204); and on Tiree where a survey of a potential early medieval site has been undertaken by a newly established community-based project combining activities instigated by An Iodhlann with Northlight Archaeology, ACFA and Glasgow University.

 

Read the related case study Case Study 10: Dun Mhuirich Excavation