General volunteering for Society activities


We are always please to hear from any of our members who would like to assist the running of Society events , support our fundraising activities, or assist with the post excavation processing and cataloguing of finds. Recently volunteers have given their time to assist us manning the Blue Door Charity shop in Kirkwall, and to help staff the OAS shop at the Ness of Brodgar excavation.


We are also always looking for volunteers to assist the Orkney College Archaeology department in processing and cataloguing the mountain of finds that are unearthed each season from the various Orkney excavations such as the Ness of Brodgar, The Cairns on South Ronaldsay and Braes O' Ha'breck on Wyre.


If you would like to support the Society in this way please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your details.


Excavation Volunteers


Please note that there are limited numbers of places available for volunteers on some of the well-known excavations in Orkney, such as the Ness of Brodgar, which receives many hundreds of requests each year, so unfortunately it is not always possible for site directors to give places to everyone who wants to dig.


2014 Ness of Brodgar excavation update: the site director has advised us that unfortunately he cannot take any more volunteers for this season's excavation.


The OAS is sometimes approached by the project directors of Orkney excavations seeking volunteers to take part as diggers. The requirements of each excavation will vary, some projects will be looking for experienced volunteers, others will happily take 'first timers;, giving all required on-site training. The Society maintains a register of members who would like to be Site Volunteers. If we receive a request for assistance from an excavation we put potential volunteers in contact with the excavation's dig director. Normally Site Volunteers should be aged 18 years or over, there is no upper age limit, but you should be happy to work in the open air regardless of what Orkney's weather may throw at you, and possess a full set of waterproofs and stout boots!


If you would like us to put you in touch with site directors in Orkney who may be in search of volunteers for 2014 please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will forward your email on to them.




Sites in Orkney

Orkney is blessed with probably the greatest concentration of archaeological sites in Scotland, with over 200 scheduled sites.


Orkney Excavations 2014

The following  list of Orkney 2014 archaeological excavations  will be updated as the  OAS is made aware of confirmed plans by the excavation directors.

More details of each will be published as they become available: 


The Cairns: Iron Age broch/ Pictish/Viking settlement, Martin Carruthers director (Orkney College UHI) 16th of June until the 11th of July, open day on Friday the 4th of July from 11am to 3.30pm. 


Smerquoy: early Neolithic houses director Colin Richards Manchester University from around June 23rd – July 12th


Rousay: Swandro 'new' Neolithic tomb; Iron Age & Viking settlement Steve Dockrill and Julie Bond Bradford University 16th June to  25th  July


Rousay: Sourin valley, and Quandale geophysical, topographic and environmental survey Ingrid Mainland, Jane Downes, Scott Timpany Orkney College UHI, Mark Edmonds York University from around 23rd June – 11th July


Hoy survey Dan Lee ORCA UHI 16 – 20th  June


Links of Noltland, WestrayNeolithic and Bronze Age houses and burials Historic Scotland/EASE (G Wilson & H Moore) now until September 2014


Ness of Brodgar 2014 ORCAThe 2014 excavations on the Ness of Brodgar will start on July 14th until August 22nd. Free site tours at 11am, 1pm & 3pm from the 16th of July 16th until the 20th of August. The daily illustrated online excavation diary will be hosted courtesy of Sigurd Towrie on Orkneyjar.


Meur, Sanday: Community led project supported by SCAPE, moving Bronze Age burnt mound from coast inland dates – July TBC




The Committee

The OAS committee meets once per month  as is responsible for the management of all aspects of the Society's  activities.


Archaeology in Orkney

This page gives some information about the various organisations involved in archaeology in Orkney and how to contact them.

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