Kildavie, Excavation Field School 2017, Isle of Mull, Scotland

Location: Kildavie, United Kingdom

June 29, 2017 to July 12, 2017

Application Deadline: 
Saturday, April 1, 2017

Deadline Type: 
Contact for details

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



Heritage & Archaeological Research Practice (HARP)

Project Director:

Ian Hill (HARP)

Project Description

HARP will be running a Field School on the Isle of Mull from 29th June to 12th July 2017.  The Field School will be continuing on from the 2016 excavation and will consist of 2 weeks excavation at the abandoned settlement of Kildavie, possibly dating back to the Early Medieval period. The settlement was inhabited until the 18th Century before being abandoned, with many villagers leaving Scotland for North America. 

There are 18 places are available for this Field School


Previous investigations have identified at least sixteen structures at the settlement, ranging from domestic dwellings to possible sites of cottage industry. The excavation aims to investigate the origins of the site, and to determine the function/use of the buildings. Investigations between 2014 and 2016 identified a number of post abandonment usage of three of the structures as well as finding solid dating evidence for inhabitation during the mid 1700’s. A series of test pits across the site have also hinted at much earlier occupation in the area with the retrieval of some flint artetfacts.

The site has been investigated by the Mull Archaeological Interest Group for the past few years, with extensive survey and limited excavation.  Participants in the field school will learn about the history of Kildavie, along with being taught how to carry out desk-based and historical research into the site and its inhabitants.  This will be followed by the opportunity to excavate two of the buildings on the site, where it is hoped that the origins of the site will be determined.  All participants will learn how to excavate to a professional archaeological standard as well as how to record the remains by way of technical drawing, photography and surveying, and will have the opportunity to complete a course book and portfolio.  Alongside this participants will play a key role in public engagement and will learn about community archaeology, with the opportunity to work with volunteers from the Mull Archaeological Interest Group, and to help present our findings during a public open day.

The site is located within the North West Mull Community Woodland of Langamull, only a stones throw away from the coast.  The idyllic setting on Mull is a great opportunity for participants to experience island life in the Scottish countryside, as well as having the opportunity to excavate an as yet little understood archaeological site.


The Field School will be running from Thursday 29th June to Wednesday 12th July.  The costs for attending the Field School are £550 (GBP).  Costs include all course fees, transport to and from site each day, accommodation and food on work days.  Transport to and from Mull is not included. Places are limited and will be given on a first come first served basis.  Prospective participants will need to complete an application form.

For more information and to book a place please contact Ian at or visit our website

Period(s) of Occupation: Medieval, Post-Medieval, Clearances

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 2 weeks

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 
No Experience necessary, all welcome

Room and Board Arrangements

Accommodation will be provided in local self-catering cottages and either shared room or dorm rooms will be on offer. We will be staying in the nearby village of Dervaig, with local facilities including a shop and pub.  Meals will be provided on all work days associated with the project.

£ 450 (Sterling)

Academic Credit

Number of credits offered N/A


Contact Information
Ian Hill
H.A.R.P, Conference House, 152 Morrison Street
0333 920 9495