Dig It! 2015, the year-long celebration of Scottish archaeology, has teamed up with hundreds of organisations including National Museums Scotland to kick off the festivities. The overarching theme of Dig It! 2015 is “identities”, the connection of people to place over time and gives the opportunity for everyone to get involved.
From January to December, Dig It! 2015 will offer a wide variety of events, ensuring that young people and adults alike have the chance to discover and tell Scotland’s stories through archaeology. Over three hundred and sixty-five events, from Orkney to the Scottish Borders, are already scheduled with many more to be added throughout the year.
Some of the unique offerings which will appear on the website throughout the year include site-specific theatre performances, UNESCO World Heritage Site festivities, kayaking adventures, a bespoke Minecraft world, graphic novel workshops and engaging Scots Language resources.
Fiona Hyslop, the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, said in support of the project:
“I’m very confident that Dig It! 2015 will help to de-mystify and celebrate archaeology, which should in turn lead to a greater enjoyment, appreciation and care of the historic environment as a whole.”
“It’s so encouraging to see initiatives such as this, which exemplify this Government’s determination to ensure everybody in Scotland gets the chance to engage with the wonderful heritage we are blessed to have in this country. The end goal is to give everybody a sense of ownership of this heritage and empower them to help protect it. This packed Dig It! 2015 programme offers lots of exciting and innovative ways to do just that.”
Further exciting events include:
- Roman Empire: Power and People – A new blockbuster exhibition at The McManus in Dundee from 24 January to 10 May. Includes an exciting programme of activities and events.
- Treasures Found – A travelling display of fascinating recent archaeological finds from the East of Scotland. From Roman coins and a Medieval pilgrim badge, these objects shed light on the history of the area. Supported by the Art Fund. From 9 March 2015 (Hawick Museum, Armadale Library, Museum of Edinburgh, National Mining Museum Scotland, Kirkcaldy Galleries, and East Lothian Council Libraries and Museums)
- The Jacobites: Braemar’s Risings – Braemar Castle, Aberdeenshire. 4 April to 31 October. Visitors have the chance to learn the history of and explore the castle. Opportunities to dress as a Jacobite and see some authentic hidden weaponry.
- Celtic Spring Food Festival – The Scottish Crannog Centre in Perthshire, 3 May. A range of activities including Iron Age cooking, with clay-baked fish, spit-cooked meat, and locally foraged greens.
- Kilmartin Archaeology Festival – Kilmartin Museum, Argyll and Bute, 8 to 21 June. Visitors can join archaeological excavations and enjoy a series of guided walks and activities.
- Young Archaeologists’ Day – Join the experts fromThe Govan Stones at Govan Old Church in Glasgow on 13 June to learn about hidden stories, discover ancient burial ground of kings and queens and become an archaeologist for the afternoon.
- Cradle of Scotland – Hunterian Museum and Perth Museum and Art Gallery, Glasgow, from 3 September. Major collaborative exhibition revealing the dramatic discoveries made by the University of Glasgow’s Strathearn Environs and Royal Forteviot (SERF) project.
Dig It! 2015 has released a printed and digital programme of events across Scotland, which can be accessed through www.digit2015.com. Everyone from local museums and national heritage organisations to whisky festivals and theatre companies are joining the celebrations. Visitors are encouraged to explore these events and how all of this ties into our identities today by searching according to location and interests, including the arrival of the Romans, the recent past, including World War One.
Dig It! 2015 is co-ordinated by two charities, Archaeology Scotland and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. It is funded by Historic Scotland and has partners across the country including, amongst others,National Museums Scotland.