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Castlehill Heritage Centre in Castletown, Scotland
AOC Archaeology Group & Castletown Heritage Society 2015
Summer 2015 sees the launch of en exciting new community archaeology initiative from Castletown Heritage Society: A Window on the Hidden Bronze Age Landscape of Caithness. This innovative project represents a new chapter in the exploration of Caithness’ prehistoric past, using cutting-edge technology to identify and select features for investigation. Targeted archaeological survey and excavation will be carried out by volunteers under the guidance of archaeologists from AOC Archaeology Group, as part of a structure summer school. Training will be central to the project’s aims, with participants learning new skills or building on previous experience. Castlehill Heritage Centre will be the project’s central hub, with indoor learning sessions, evening events and crafts workshops taking place there throughout the summer and into the autumn.
A gold pin from the Dumfries and Galloway Viking Hoard
Church of Scotland
The Church of Scotland reports yesterday that –
A hoard of Viking treasure described as the largest found in modern times has been discovered on land owned by the Church of Scotland. The historically significant find was made by Derek McLennan, a committed metal detector enthusiast who has been searching around the area in Dumfries and Galloway for the last year. The hoard contains more than one hundred artefacts, many of which are unique. They are now in the care of the Treasure Trove Unit and considered to be of international importance.
The hoard falls under the Scots law of treasure trove, and is currently in the care of the Treasure Trove Unit. The law provides for a reward to be made to the finder which is judged equivalent to the market value of the items. The Church of Scotland General Trustees, as the landowners, have reached agreement with Derek about an equitable sharing of any proceeds which will eventually be awarded. Secretary to the General Trustees, David Robertson said “We are very excited to have been part of such an historic find and we commend Derek for the spirit in which he has worked with us and the other agencies involved in making sure everything is properly registered and accounted for. Any money arising from this will first and foremost be used for the good of the local parish. We recognise Derek is very responsible in pursuing his interest, but we do not encourage metal detecting on Church land unless detailed arrangements have been agreed beforehand with the General Trustees.”
The location of the find is not being revealed. The Scottish Government, Treasure Trove Unit and Historic Scotland are all involved in ensuring the area is properly protected while the full historical significance of the site is established. The objects within the hoard will now undergo painstaking conservation work, revealing their secrets and preserving them for future generations.
Full Church of Scotland article here.
The proposed St Kilda Centre on the Isle of Lewis has been recognised as a “key case study” of global importance after UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee adopted a sustainable tourism strategy aimed at increasing local economic benefits from internationally-significant sites.
Meeting recently in St Petersburg, delegates from 150 countries backed a programme to co-ordinate and influence tourism developments at World Heritages sites, of which there are fewer than 1,000 world-wide. Most have little or no tourism infrastructure around them while others suffer the threat of over-exposure to commercial tourism.
The document states: “If undertaken responsibly, tourism can be a driver for preservation and conservation of cultural and natural heritage and a vehicle for sustainable development. “But if unplanned, or not properly managed, tourism can be socially, culturally and economically disruptive and have a devastating effect on fragile environments and local communities”.
St Kilda is one of five World Heritage sites in Scotland and one of only 29 in the world with a double designation, recognising both its outstanding natural and cultural history.
Full article here.