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About Orkney Archeological Trust (OAT)

Rendall Cist Discovery

Julie and Jane discussing the discovery of yet another cist site in Rendall
Click here for more excavation images

There is an oft-quoted saying that if you scratch the soil in Orkney it bleeds archaeology. However hackneyed this may appear, believe it or not, it is far from an exaggeration. It's practically true.

Orkney is notoriously rich in archaeological remains. As well as the visible monuments we can still see and visit today, there is a wealth of lesser-known and unexcavated sites. Looking after this rich heritage is an important job and one that falls to the Orkney Archaeological Trust.

Although Orkney's climate can often be thanked for revealing previously unknown aspects of our past, the storms and tides are also responsible for destroying much. Orkney suffers some of the worst coastal erosion in Scotland , and while it is undoubtedly exciting to record and work on the new treasures unearthed by nature, it is heartbreaking to watch them being eroded and lost forever by the same forces.

It takes skill and luck to find these sites - and time and money to save them.

Rendall Cist Discovery

A site visit to the excavations at the impressive Bronze Age cemetery of the Knowes of Trotty, Harray being undertaken by Jane Downes and Nick Card

A registered charity, Orkney Archaeological Trust provides the leadership required to record, develop and progress Orkney's archaeological heritage. To ensure this, the trust works in partnership with many other bodies, including Orkney Islands Council, Orkney Museum , Orkney Heritage Society, Orkney College and Historic Scotland.

Supporting the trust is a growing international membership of Friends of the Orkney Archaeological Trust. The Friends are provided with information on archaeology and archaeological activity in Orkney through publications, meetings, conferences, exhibitions, projects, tours and other activities and events.

For more information on how to join The Friends of Orkney Archaeological Trust see the main section of the website.

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