Organization profile

Organisation profile

The Institute is unique within Scotland, in that it combines teaching, academic research, and commercial applied research and consultancy. The commercial arm of the institute, ORCA and ORCA Marine, provide professional archaeological and heritage services to Northern Scotland - providing everything from archaeological excavations and evaluations, through to heritage consultancy services, marine archaeological investigations and geophysical survey. This unique partnership sees the Institute’s academic staff working alongside the ORCA and ORCA Marine staff with regards to teaching and research, providing our students with an unparalleled experience of practical and applied archaeology, as well as facilitating world class archaeological research in both Northern Scotland and the wider world.

The Highlands and Islands has particularly rich and diverse archaeological heritage - from Neolithic stone-built settlements, tombs and stone circles, to Iron Age brochs, Pictish and Viking settlements and burials, historical archaeology such as the clearances to remains from the First and Second World Wars - situated in landscapes which are distinctive and often fragile.

However, although the Institute carries out internationally significant research within the Highlands and Islands region, we also work much farther afield – with current research projects ongoing in Easter Island, Nepal and Tanzania.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Archaeology Institute is active. These topic labels come from the works of this organisation's members. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.


    Photo of Hugo Anderson-Whymark
    No photo of Nick Card

    Nick Card

    Person: Academic Research Active

    Photo of Martin Carruthers

    Martin Carruthers

    Person: Academic Research Active, Academic Related


    Northern Exposure: investigating the end of the Neolithic in the north

    Richards, C., Downes, J., Gee, C. & Cummings, V.


    Project: Research

    The stone circles of Britain and Ireland

    Richards, C.


    Project: Research

    YAARP: Yesnaby Art & Archaeology Research Project

    Moore, J., Hammond, R. & Gibbon, S. J.

    20/07/15 → …

    Project: Research

    Research Output

    Runic Spindle Whorl Recently Found In Orkney

    Ljosland, R., 16 Jan 2020, In : Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies. 9-10, p. 215-230 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • A combined chemical imaging approach using (MC) LA-ICP-MS and NIR-HSI to evaluate the diagenetic status of bone material for Sr isotope analysis

    Retzmann, A., Blanz, M., Zitek, A., Irrgeher, J., Feldmann, J., Teschler-Nicola, M. & Prohaska, T., 31 Jan 2019, In : Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry. 411, 3, p. 565-580 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 9 Downloads (Pure)
    Open Access
  • Prizes

    Andante Travel Archaeology Award

    Card, Nick (Recipient), 2012

    Prize: Project Award

    Noted in motion in Scottish Parliament

    Card, Nick (Recipient), 2011

    Prize: Other distinction

  • Activities

    Shoormal Conference.

    Antonia Thomas (Chair), & Sarah Jane Gibbon (Chair)

    20 Sep 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

    Medieval Christianity in Orkney

    Sarah Jane Gibbon (Speaker)

    8 Jun 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

    Orkney Heritage Society Annual Eynhallow Trip

    Sarah Jane Gibbon (Speaker), & James Moore (Speaker)

    16 Jul 2019

    Activity: OtherTypes of Public engagement and outreach - Public lecture/debate/seminar

    Student theses

    How the Vikings inhabited Scotland: a social zooarchaeological approach

    Author: Cooke, S., 18 Dec 2017

    Supervisor: Downes, J. (Supervisor) & MacLeod Rivett, M. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (awarded by OU/Aberdeen)


    The Experience of Space and Place in World Heritage Site Management

    Author: Renwick, E. K., 1 Mar 2017

    Supervisor: Downes, J. (Supervisor), Clarke, S. (Supervisor) & Howard, P. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (awarded by OU/Aberdeen)


    Art and Architecture in Neolithic Orkney: Process, Temporality and Context

    Author: Thomas, A., 11 Feb 2016

    Supervisor: Downes, J. (Supervisor) & Edmonds, M. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (awarded by OU/Aberdeen)