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Scottish Archaeology Month is all about sharing and engaging with the many stories related to history, heritage and archaeology in Scotland.

Scottish Archaeology Month is an Archaeology Scotland initiative supported by Historic Environment Scotland. In partnership with Doors Open Days and coordinated by the Scottish Civic Trust, it forms Scotland’s contribution to European Heritage Days.

The archaeological collections at National Museums Scotland include some of the key discoveries made in Scotland over the last 250 years. The stories we can tell from these objects shine a light on the lives of people from Scotland’s past.

More than 'just' a museum

You may think of our museums as primarily places for displaying objects, but we do lots more behind the scenes. This includes scientific studies like our 3-year, AHRC-funded Unwrapping the Galloway Hoard project, a dedicated post-excavation service, experimental archaeology as seen in our reconstruction of the Deskford carnyx, artefact conservation such as the re-assembly of the James Bruce drinking horn, and getting out into the field to excavate new discoveries!

Scottish Archaeology Month runs for the whole duration of September. We will share some of the ongoing research and stories relating to our collections on this page and across social media.

 

Two men excavate an archaeological pit, one on hands and knees and the other seated at the edge. They look focused and are flanked by tarps.

National Museums Scotland curators excavating a Bronze Age hoard for the Treasure Trove Unit. Crown Copyright.

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The Galloway Hoard

The Galloway Hoard is the richest collection of rare and unique Viking-age objects ever found in Britain or Ireland. What does it tell us about the Viking Age in Scotland, and how can we interpret the diverse range of objects it contained? Discover the latest information about the Galloway Hoard here.

Galloway Hoard
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The Romans in Scotland

Did the Roman Empire conquer Scotland? What was life like for legionaries and locals on the frontier? What archaeological evidence did Rome leave in its wake, and were can you see Roman-era objects in Scotland today? Find out in our new resource focused on Romans in Scotland.

The Romans in Scotland
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Visit the Orkney Hood at the National Museum of Scotland

The Orkney Hood is the only complete piece of clothing from before the medieval period in Scotland. Its story began in an Orkney peat bog over 1,500 years ago, where it was either accidentally lost or purposely left. We'll never know which, or why. Would you wear it?

Join Dr Alice Blackwell on a journey through the National Museum of Scotland to visit the Orkney Hood.

Watch on YouTube
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Culduthel Mains Bronze Age burial assemblage

In 1975, a Bronze Age burial was uncovered near Culduthel Mains, Inverness-shire. Often interpreted as an archer, this man and his objects reveal fascinating stories about connections across Scotland and the rest of Britain and Ireland.

Culduthel Mains burial assemblage
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Miniature axes under the microscope

A curiously small ancient axe was recently discovered in the Scottish Borders. It prompted questions about what the purpose of this object, and others like it, might be. Senior Curator of Prehistory, Matthew Knight, and Treasure Trove Officer, Ella Paul, explain some of the analyses they’ve been using to investigate in this blog post.

Read the blog
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Scottish History and Archaeology department

Our Scottish History and Archaeology department cares for the largest collection of its kind anywhere, and aims to be a comprehensive record of the life, times and achievements of the people of Scotland at home and abroad. Meet our experts and browse the collections from Early Prehistory to Contemporary acquisitions.

Scottish History and Archaeology
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Treasure Trove

Treasure Trove ensures that significant objects from Scotland's past are preserved in museums for public benefit. Any archaeological finds must be reported to Treasure Trove, and the Treasure Trove Unit is now able to meet with finders at the National Museum of Scotland to receive and assess finds. Have you found something? Get in touch here.

Treasure Trove

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