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 for it. Recent developments in technology and access to archives meant that an investigation by researchers from Lancaster University and the University of Vienna were able to conclusively demonstrate the presence of a large hill top enclosure in 2016. This year, a team of six archaeologists will work with local volunteers between 19-30 June to learn more about it.
Christine Markussen is GIS Program Manager, Geospatial Specialist, and a Supervisory Archaeologist for EnviroSystems Management, Inc. This has led her to a PhD (University of Vienna) where she is developing 3D workspaces for ground penetrating radar data visualization and interpretation. She lives in Arizona and is a connoisseur of fine cheeses.
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.
Leanne Demay is a commercial archaeologist based in the north east of Scotland. Regular contact with midgies and surviving lightning storms in some very exposed places, while wielding a hoe, has taught her valuable ninja skills. Her special interests include Romans and Iron Age people in Scotland and Rioja.
Leif Isaksen grew up in Forres and is a Senior Lecturer in Spatial History at Lancaster University. He specialises in digital approaches to studying the past and has a personal affinity for pies.
Mary Saunders is an upland landscape archaeologist with many years experience in commercial geophysics and geomatics and a recently awarded PhD looking at an upland landscape in the Yorkshire Dales. She is also a climber and off-road runner with a penchant for Yorkshire Tea.
Michael 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.