On the southeast side of Forres stands Cluny Hill, a beautiful area of wooded parkland that has belonged to the town since its records began. There has long been a tradition that a hill fort once surrounded its summit, but major landscaping and plantation in the 19th century were thought to have destroyed any evidence. In 2017 the first Cluny Hill dig proved its existence and dated its periods of use to the Late Bronze Age (~ 800 BCE) and the Early Iron Age(~350-80 BCE). This year, the team returns to work with local volunteers between 10-21 September to find out more about it.

2018 Dig Staff

1044899_10151713013103577_1960857782_n David Anderson has been involved with the archaeology of North East Scotland for over twenty years.  His specialist skills include pointing at work for other people to do and, most importantly, beard tugging.

Anna Collar is Asst. Professor of Classical Archaeology at Aarhus University, Denmark. Her work focuses on migration, sacred landscapes and the spread of religions in the Roman Empire, with a geographical focus on the far reaches of E. Turkey and Syria. What is she doing here?

Gemma Cruickshanks is post-excavation officer for National Museums Scotland and specialises in the production and use of iron in Iron Age Scotland. When she’s not staring at old rusty things she’s usually knitting.

IMG_4577.jpgLeanne Demay is a commercial archaeologist based in the north east of Scotland. Her special interests include Roman and Iron Age people in Scotland, and Rioja.


Stu Eve is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Leicester, working on the prehistoric landscape of Avebury in Wiltshire. His expertise is in GIS, drone photography, Augmented Reality and the virtual recreation of archaeological landscapes.


Leif Isaksen grew up in Forres and is Professor in Digital Humanities (Classics & Ancient History) at the University of Exeter. He has a personal affinity for pies.


Matthew Knight is the curator of the Chalcolithic and Bronze Age collections at the National Museum of Scotland. His love of bronze and gold artefacts has earned him the nickname: Dr Shiny Things.

Emma Malone is a commercial archaeologist with 16 years experience in Ireland and Scotland, expertise includes cutting birthday cakes with a trowel and man-handling very full wheelbarrows.

Me The Cairns 2Michael Sharpe has lived in the Forres area for more than 20 years, and works in commercial archaeology.  He has an interest in marine and coastal archaeology, and specialises in technical photography. He is a founder member of the Society of Antiquaries of Findhorn.

Andy Valdez-Tullet is a prehistorian and landscape archaeologist that specialises in the Bronze /  Iron Age transition. He has worked in commercial archaeology and Historic England’s Excavation and Analysis Team. He also likes pies…


Previous Staff members

Christine Markussen (2016 & 2017)



img_6514.jpgMary Saunders (2017)