Discovering and sharing the history of Scotland’s island communities

Uist - Island Archaeology in Focus

Come and join us as we mark Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017 with a 3-day celebration of Uist’s unique archaeology.

This 3 day conference is a unique opportunity, not only to attend talks given by some of the leading experts in their fields but to visit some of the historic sites in person.  The conference will examine the rich archaeological heritage of Uist, and highlight its importance in a national and international context whilst trying to establish:

  1. What knowledge has been gained from long-term and more recent projects that have taken place in Uist and elsewhere in the Outer Hebrides and how that knowledge can be shared as widely as possible.
  2. How the archaeological sites in Uist fit into the wider context of Scottish archaeology and what can be done to help a more diverse range of people learn about the national and international importance of these sites.

This will be the first time that so many recognized experts in their fields have gathered together in Uist and it is a unique opportunity for islanders and academics to interact and learn from each other.

The conference will be held in St Peters Hall, Daliburgh, South Uist between the 3rd and 5th August 2017.

Tickets are available to purchase online here

Copyright Duncan Garrow Copyright Jacqui Mulville Copyright Stewart Angus


Ian Armit
David Breeze
Mike Parker Pearson
Joanna Hambly
Duncan Garrow
Lisa Brown
Martin Goldberg
Mary MacLeod Rivett
Niall Sharples
John Raven
David Caldwell
Rachel Barrowman
Jacqui Mulville
George Geddes
Rebecca Rennell
Jim Hansom
Philip Robertson
Stewart Angus
Mark Thacker
Mark Hall
Beverley Ballin Smith
Jo Buckberry
Judith Aird
David Newman
Jeff Sanders
Sian Jones
Stuart Jeffrey
Rebecca Jones
Tom Dawson
Roderick McCullagh
Fraser Stuart




Session 1: The Prehistoric Context

  • Duncan Garrow & Fraser Sturt, New Neolithic sites: recent work at An Doirlinn, South Uist (2012) and at three loch sites, Lewis (2016)
  • Mike Parker Pearson, Tom Booth & Andrew Chamberlain, The mummies of Cladh Hallan: science and funerary archaeology
  • Lisa Brown & Martin Goldberg: Bruthach a’Tuath: the 1956 rocket range excavations of a wheelhouse complex on Balivanich airfield, Benbecula

Session 2: The Norse & Medieval Context

  • Mary MacLeod Rivett, Strangers in a strange land? Incomers in the ninth century Hebrides
  • Niall Sharples, Norse or Scottish: Uist in the 13th and 14th centuries AD
  • John Raven, Caught between the tides: medieval landscapes in the Uists?
  • David Caldwell, The Uists in the aftermath of the collapse of the Lordship of the Isles – an archaeological approach
  • Rachel Barrowman, Tales of the Unexpected from the Isle of Lewis

Session 3: The Islands Dynamic

  • Jacqui Mulville, Out of the Blue: Inhabiting Islands in Space and Time
  • George Geddes, St Kilda – archaeology and the ‘Galapagos effect’
  • Rebecca Rennell: Islets for isolation and causeways for connectivity: fluctuating identities in Hebridean archaeology
  • Jim Hansom, Dè tha ceàrr air a’mhachaire? Coast on the edge
  • Philip Robertson, Historic Shipwrecks of the Hebrides
  • Stewart Angus, The archaeology of water management in the Uists
  • Mark Thacker, Pieces of medieval Argyll?


Session 4: Udal in Focus

  • Mark Hall, Udal Prospects: Achievements and challenges in delivering the Udal Archaeology Project
  • Beverley Ballin Smith, Evaluating the Evidence: possibilities and limits of the Udal collection as a resource
  • Jo Buckberry, Life and Death on the Udal: The skeletal remains from RUX 6
  • Judith Aird, Taphonomy of a faunal collection – a sorry tale

Session 5: Collaboration, Enjoyment & Future Prospects

  • David Newman, Walking the Wild Side – a review of 5 years of field survey work on the remote east side of Uist
  • Jeff Sanders, Archaeology in 2017
  • Sian Jones & Stuart Jeffrey, Digital visualization, community collaboration and social value
  • Rebecca Jones, Archaeology is for everyone! Scotland’s Archaeology Strategy
  • Tom Dawson & Joanna Hambly, Archaeology and erosion in the Uists
  • Roderick McCullagh, Experiencing the archaeology of Eilean nan Siar over 30 years
  • Rebecca Rennell, Our islands, our past: a multi-scalar approach to archaeological frameworks
  • David Breeze, What World Heritage Sites can do for you


8pm - Buchan Lecture by Ian Armit: First Farmers in the West: Eilean Domhnuill and the Hebridean Neolithic


  • Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath collaboration with St Andrews University
  • Field visits – led by Niall Sharples


  • Conference Admission FULL – 3 days, refreshments, lunch, dinner and excursions £195
  • IBT Member Admission FULL - 3 days, refreshments, lunch, dinner and excursions £165
  • 1 Day Admission FULL – 1 day, refreshments, lunch, dinner and excursions £70
  • 1 Day Member Admission FULL - 1 day, refreshments, lunch, dinner and excursions £60
  • 1 Day Admission – Daytime sessions, refreshments and lunch £35
  • 1 Day Member Admission - Daytime sessions, refreshments and lunch £30
  • Buchan Lecture by Prof Ian Armit FREE

Tickets are available to purchase online here


  • SnBM Community Fund
  • Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
  • The Society of Antiquaries Scotland


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