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The Balbithan Prehistoric Landscape Project

Location: Kintore, Aberdeenshire, United Kingdom

August 10, 2015 to August 21, 2015

Application Deadline: 
Saturday, August 1, 2015

Deadline Type: 

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



Rampart Scotland and Forestry Commission Scotland

Project Director:

Murray Cook

Project Description

Within Balbithan wood in Aberdeenshire, lies a collection of at least 28 prehistoric hut-circles and numerous clearance cairns. Test pitting has also revealed evidence of Mesolithic activity.

Balbithan wood is operated by the Forestry Commission and mainly consists of conifer plantation but it also contains remnant oaks and yews from when the area was more open. Dykes and farm buildings are associated with a 19th century plan and post-medieval rig and furrow is still visible.

The huts were built on marginal land at a time when due to slightly warmer temperatures it was possible to farm for longer and on poorer ground. As the climate worsened the houses were abandoned and gradually collapsed leaving tell-tale circular mounds 10-15 m in diameter. Avoided by subsequent farmers who built and farmed around them, the hut remains eventually became preserved within the forest itself.

The Balbithan Prehistoric Landscape Project is a five year programme of archaeological research aimed at dating these huts and recovering as much information as possible. Previous season’s results have indicated lithic technologies ranging from Mesolithic to Bronze Age. In addition, c14 dating has already confirmed that three of the circular huts date to c 1500 BC.

The training is relaxed and easy going and you can learn as much or as little as you want to. You will have the opportunity to excavate archaeological remains that have never been examined before.

No experience necessary.



Period(s) of Occupation: Bronze-Age

Excavate the remains of Bronze-Age hut structures

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Full duration only

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 

Room and Board Arrangements

Halls of residence with comfortable single rooms, kitchen facilities and hot showers. All meals are provided in the cost. Extras are the responsibility of the participant and trips to local stores will be available.

£750 sterling

Academic Credit

Number of credits offered: none


Contact Information
Murray Cook
6A Gladstone Place