Highland Archaeology Festival 2018

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 is the 25th year of the festival! In 2018 it will run from 29th September - 19th October - a longer than usual period to celebrate our 25th year, with the last week including the school holidays. Some talks and sessions at the conference will reflect on developments during the past 25 years.


There are over 100 events offered by organisations, museums and individuals. For details of all see the Events Calendar. The printed brochure is available from libraries, service points, tourist information centres and many museums, or can be downloaded from the Documnent Library on the website. Click here to see the events sorted by region. Some events are specifically aimed at children: click here for a list.

Our Launch Lecture will take place on Friday 28th September at Council HQ where Martin Goldberg from the NMS will speak about Highland Archaeology and Early Medieval Scotland: Reflections from 20 years of the Glenmorangie Research Project at National Museums Scotland. This year's Keynote Talk on Friday 12th October will be Professor Richard Bradley talking about The Clava Cairns and After: Coming to Terms with the Earlier Prehistory of Highland Scotland. And new this year is a HAF Feature Lecture on Tuesday 2nd October when Mark Watson from HES will speak about Industrial Archaeology in the Highlands: 25-year Retrospect and Prospect.

New events added after the brochure went to press, or any changes are detailed in the News section of the website.

Museum Exhibitions and Opening Times

Over 20 special exhibitions are running during HAF. Click here to see descriptions, as well as a list of opening hours of many of the museums, archives and heritage centres.

HAF 2018 Conference

The annual conference in Inverness will take place this year at Council headquarters in Inverness on 13th and 14th October. Click here to see information about the conference and links to the booking form.

Workshop Afternoon at Highland Council HQ

This year we have exciting workshops on offer: Reconstruction Drawing with Cathy Dagg, Aerial Photography with Allan Kilpatrick, Introduction to Using the HER with Ian Scrivener-Lindley, On-line Historic Maps with Susan Kruse, Technology for Archaeology with Cathy MacIver, and Identifying Pottery from Field Walking and Excavations with Eric Grant. Friday 12th October, 2-5pm. Choose up to two workshops in these hands-on sessions. Further details in the Events Calendar.

New this year:

HAF 2018 Photographic Competition

The theme this year was Highland Archaeology: Re-using our past. Further details and links to the submitted entries are available by clicking here.

Adopt an HER Record

Is there a Highland site or object that is special to you? We are encouraging people to adopt the record in the Highland Historic Environment Record (HER), Highland Council's database of all known heritage, by submiting a picture or information. We'll also be running workshops over the summer on using the HER. Further information by clicking here.

Other HAF activities

The geocache trail is still active, and we have added some new ones this year. A list of self guided trails is also available.


We welcome feedback on any events you attend. Feedback forms can be obtained from event organisers (allowing you to fill in more than one event on one form), or you can fill in a short on-line form per event. Please send back all feedback by 13 October 2018.


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