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.

Mesolithic Earth & Environmental Sciences
Bronze Age Earth & Environmental Sciences
archaeology Earth & Environmental Sciences
Medieval Earth & Environmental Sciences
flint Earth & Environmental Sciences
Orkney Arts & Humanities
excavation Earth & Environmental Sciences
Iron Age Earth & Environmental Sciences

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


Photo of Hugo Anderson-Whymark

Hugo Anderson-Whymark

Person: Visiting Scholar, Academic Research Active

No photo of Nick Card

Nick Card

Person: Academic Research Active

Photo of Martin Carruthers

Martin Carruthers

Person: Academic Research Active, Academic Related

Projects 2006 2022

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 1999 2019

2 Downloads (Pure)

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
Infrared imaging
Laser Therapy
Inductively coupled plasma
Laser ablation
Open Access
risk assessment
climate effect

Flux Tower

Lee, D., 6 Dec 2019, In : Livingmaps Review. 2019, 7, p. 1-6 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access


Andante Travel Archaeology Award

Nick Card (Recipient), 2012

Prize: Project Award

Current Archaeology Research Project of the Year

Nick Card (Recipient), 2011

Prize: Project Award

Noted in motion in Scottish Parliament

Nick Card (Recipient), 2011

Prize: Other distinction

Activities 1997 2019

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

Scotland's 3rd Millennium Archaeology Research Workshop (#3M_DO) (External organisation)

Antonia Thomas (Member)
Feb 2019 → …

Activity: MembershipMembership of network

Shoormal Conference.

Antonia Thomas (Chair), Sarah Jane Gibbon (Chair)
20 Sep 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Press / Media

More of Ancient Kirkwall Revealed by Town Improvements

Sarah Jane Gibbon


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Research

Oral History Project for Orkney’s North Isles

Sarah Jane Gibbon


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Research

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)