Highland Archaeology Festival 2017

Celebrating Highland Archaeology, History and Heritage

The festival is provided by the Highland Council and runs over two weeks each October to celebrate the heritage of the Highlands from earliest settlers to modern times, below ground and above. Whether you are a seasoned archaeologist or a complete beginner, the festival will let you explore an amazing range of places and collections.  There’s something to suit everyone and many of the events are free!

This year the festival runs from 30th September - 15th October



The programme includes a wide array of events provided by local experts and national organisations, and includes walks, talks, tours, workshops, exhibitions and much more. This year the festival launches on the 29th September with a  lecture by Cecily Spall who has been involved in excavations at Eilean Donan Castle and Portmahomack, focussing on the medieval period of these two sites. She will then follow this up with a walk on Saturday 30th September. Other events in the fortnight include

  • events aimed specifically for children (though many of the other events welcome children with adults).
  • an afternoon on 13th October of hands-on workshops ranging from photography to internet maps.
  • a special keynote talk on the evening of Friday 13th by Dr Alison Sheridan exploring what DNA analysis of prehistoric remains can tell us about Highland prehistory.
  • special exhibitions in a number of museums throughout the Highlands.

The events are listed in the Events Calendar on the website, and include those which were submitted too late to be included in the printed brochure. The printed brochure has been distributed to libraries, service points, information centres and various venues, or can be obatined by contacting us directly on highlandarchaeologyfestival@gmail.com.

Events received after the brochure went to press are also listed in the News section of the website. Check here for new events and any changes or cancellations.

We welcome feedback on any events you attended. A feedback form which allows you to list multiple events is available from event organisers or can be downloaded from the Document Library in the 2017 folder. Or, if you prefer, click here for a short online survey.


There are three trails to explore this year:

  • A HAF 2017 object trail. Find the object and get your passport stamped at 16 participating museums.
  • A HAF 2017 geocache trail. New this year and available to explore after the festival ends.
  • Self-guided trails in a number of locations, allowing you to explore heritage in the Highlands year round. We welcome additions to the list – let us have details of others you know about which are still in press or on the internet.

Photographic Competition

We had a good response to our photographic competition. See the entries!

HAF 2017 conference Recent Archaeological Discoveries and Research

The annual conference takes place on 14th & 15th October this year with another diverse and interesting line-up. This year we have expanded poster sessions, and can offer sandwiches to those who book them. Our panel session will focus on dating methods. Bookings can be done via post or online. More details in the Conference section of the website and in the Document Library 2017 folder.


Highland Archaeology Festival 2017 is a registered event with Scotland's Year of History, Heritage and Arcaheology.