The Project

Public Excavations at Nybster Broch took place in April/May and  1st – 14th of August 2011. Please see the Dig Diary for information on the results of the excavations.

2011 marks the commencement of a major new programme of community archaeological research, centred around the broch village complex at Nybster, Auckengill, Caithness. The first phase of excavations took place from Tuesday 26th April to Sunday 8th May. For information on past findings and to stay up to date with progress at it happens, go to the Dig Diary.

The Caithness Archaeological Trust has joined forces with AOC Archaeology Group to instigate a new programme of excavation and recording of the dramatic broch village, situated on the promontory headland at Auckengill, north of Keiss in Caithness. The archaeological programme will involve a series of excavations and conservation work on the site, aiming to better understand the development of the settlement through the Iron Age and Early Historic periods, and to better present the site to the visiting public.


Nybster broch is one of the most spectacular Iron Age settlements in northern mainland Scotland, and having been cleared and uncovered by Sir Francis Tress Barry in the 19th century is one of the more accessible broch villages in Caithness. Excavations by the National Museum of Scotland in 2005 demonstrated that despite Tress-Barry’s clearance of the site, much of the original Iron Age and Norse period archaeology remains intact, and the site presents an exciting opportunity to explore the archaeology of the ‘long Iron Age’ in Caithness. Located a short walk from the newly opened Caithness Brochs Centre, the 2011 excavations will allow locals and visitors to Caithness to get involved in hands-on research into Scotland’s brochs.

A Community Archaeology Project

The Nybster broch project will be an opportunity for volunteers from the local community and further afield to get involved in archaeological research. We will be running a series of training workshops, lectures and guided tours designed to allow volunteers, visitors and school children the opportunity to learn archaeological recording techniques and to gain firsthand experience of the study of our past.

Stay up to date on the progress of the project, and keep in touch with planned training events through the project blog.

Image Credit: Aerial Shot of Nybster (C) Crown Copyright RCAHMS

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