Lochinver Archaeology Open Day A Huge Success

All set up and ready for the archaeology open day at Lochinver in July © Copyright ARS Ltd 2022
A great turnout to watch the Iron Age furnace in operation at the Lochinver archaeology open day © Copyright ARS Ltd 2022
Bellows being used to blow air into the Iron Age furnace to increase the heat - Lochinver archaeology open day © Copyright ARS Ltd 2022

Our work in Lochinver, Elgin, Scotland, goes from strength to strength with a massive turnout for our archaeology open day on Saturday 16 July.

We’ve been undertaking archaeological investigations at Tarmac’s Lochinver Quarry since 2012 and have already seen the potential for this site to shed much new light on Bronze Age and Iron Age Scotland. Tarmac have also been eager to involve the local community, so it’s been fantastic to welcome so many volunteers lately, each one providing great assistance with our own archaeological investigations.

Now we’ve opened this wonderful site up to the general public and although we’ve done many open days in our time, we don’t think we’ve ever seen so many people at one event! As promised, they all got to witness the experimental reconstruction and firing of an Iron Age smelting furnace, which was based precisely on the archaeological evidence recovered from the site. We also smelted prepared ore that we recovered from an Iron Age pit next to one of the furnaces – and even produced an iron bloom from it. Aside from this, we were thrilled to have had so many visitors that we were undertaking non-stop tours of the site all day.

In the end, we think we possibly got around 500-600 people through!

Everyone seemed to enjoy the day too:

“Many thanks to Archaeological Research Services Ltd for their open day at Lochinver today. It was a great day.”

“Great to actually see you reconstruct the remains we were shown…..it’s really interesting and makes it come alive.”

“I hadn’t realised it was so involved. It’s great to think this is the first time iron was made here in nearly 2000yrs!”

“Best day of my life!” – Matt (under 8)

All in all, it was a fabulous event – a big thank you to Tarmac, to all the people who came and saw us, and to our incredible team who helped make it happen. It just goes to show you the power of archaeology to draw the crowds.

Update: if that wasn’t enough, our work at Lochinver Quarry has made the news!

> See our project page for more information on our work at Lochinver.

The Iron Age furnace at Lochinver © Copyright ARS Ltd 2022
Preparing the Iron Age furnace © Copyright ARS Ltd 2022
The ARS archaeologists after a fantastic open day success © Copyright ARS Ltd 2022
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