CHAT conference was a great success

A big thank you to all those delegates who made the CHAT 2016 conference such a great success. Last weekend saw the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute host CHAT 2016 (Con…

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Art and Architecture in Neolithic Orkney – Book Review

Art and Architecture in Neolithic Orkney: Process, Temporality and Context. Antonia Thomas. Archaeopress. 2016 Caroline Wickham-Jones kindly wrote a detailed review of Art and Architecture in Neoli…

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CHAT conference in Orkney – RURALITY

Register for CHAT 2016 now!

Registration closes 7th October

Draft programme available on CHAT website

Contemporary and Historical Archaeology in Theory (CHAT) conference 2016

21-23 October


Place: Kirkwall, Orkney, Scotland

Venue: Orkney Theatre, The Meadows, Kirkwall

Host: University of the Highlands & Islands Archaeology Institute



Download a registration form and draft programme from the CHAT website ( ). Registration closes 7th October. We have a great line up including themed plenary sessions, film night and 3M_DO discussion. We also have exhibitions, installations and videos and poster presentations in the theatre foyer.

Fieldtrips: Why not get here a bit early?

Thursday 20th (all day) – Alternative tour of Orkney West Mainland (free for delegates, book on registration form)

Friday 21st (am) – Kirkwall walk (free for delegates, no booking required)

Halls accommodation is nearly full, so best check with us first for availability (

Accommodation information: and .

Travel information, getting to Orkney: .

See you here!

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Sea poem

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Map Orkney Month: Imagining archaeological mappings paper published

Brendan Colvert & Rosey Priestman: Forming the pearl, Sanday 01/03/15

Map Orkney Month: Imagining archaeological mappings has just been published in a new open access online journal Livingmaps Review (Vol. 1, No. 1).

This is based on my contribution to the Public Archaeology 2015 project, in which 6 archaeologists and 6 non-archaeologists each had a month long project throughout the year.

Map Orkney Month proposes new forms of creative mapping for archaeology. When volunteers were asked to map their world for a day, the idea was to create a new collaborative map of the Orkney archipelago based on everyday journeys and places; a kind of countywide archaeological walkover survey with a twist. In the process, the project challenged traditional archaeological power structures, destabilised the way archaeological knowledge is produced by using non-specialists, and experimented with new modes of archaeological mapping. In the end, each contribution became its own map without the need for traditional archaeological cartography. In particular, the role of imagination in both traditional and experimental mappings became an important theme. Above all, mappers were challenged to think about archaeology in a new way, and in the process contributed something new to the discipline.

You can access the article free here (just register):

Norna Sinclair: Groatie Buckie beach, Stromness 12/03/15

Helga Tulloch: Feedign the sheep at Cruesbreck, North Ronaldsay 04/03/15

Rowena Baker: Rowing practice, Kirkwall Bay 15/03/15

Many thanks again to all MoM participants, James Dixon, Barbara Brayshay and Antonia Thomas.

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Incoherent Archaeology Manifesto

Incoherent Archaeology Manifesto (draft)

(to be used or not used, adapted, edited, abandoned or recycled. Incoherent could be replaced with disjuncture)

 Archaeologies of Incoherence (disjuncture) in a digital age:

  1. Technology incoherence: digital technology will not be used. Analogue only or conversion back to analogue if digitising has already occurred.
  2. Material incoherence: materials must be reused or recycled from other projects or things. Tools and equipment must be made for purpose, mended or second-hand.
  3. Time incoherence: Archaeologies of the present/future, and/or with disjuncture to the past. Embrace non-linear time.
  4. Photographic incoherence: photography must use 35mm or medium format film, or film shot on super 8, 16mm, camera lucida or camera obscura (or other experimental techniques). Moving images using a phenakistoscope disc.
  5. Performance incoherence: all presentations about projects must be in landscape and site specific, without the use of powerpoint or digital reproduction. They must include original materials, secondary archive, photographs or objects.
  6. Archive incoherence: there can be no primary archive; it must be destroyed, reused or re-appropriated.


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Walking (in)visible lines: archaeologies in between – published in Flettverk #2 SCENE

We are pleased to have our article ‘Walking (in)visible lines: archaeologies in between’ published last month in a Norwegian art magazine FLETTVERK (translates as ‘product created by braiding or interlacing of different parts’). The theme for issue #2 is SCENE;  fitting for our narrative article based on collaborations between Dan Lee, Antonia Thomas and Tonje Birkeland (pictured above on the cover) over a couple of years in Orkney.

More info on the magazine website:

Download our article here: lee-thomas-2015-walking-in-visible-lines-flettverk-2.pdf

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