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What is Archaeology?

Archaeology is learning about past people from the evidence they left behind. In practical terms, this can cover just about any part of our properties, from buried archaeology to standing buildings, from gardens and designed landscapes around castles to whole landscapes in the countryside - cultural landscapes which have formed by thousands of years of people living in and working with their natural environment.

Who we are and what we look after

The Archaeology Team is led by the Trust's Head of Archaeology, and consists of two Area Archaeologists and the St Kilda Archaeologist, as well as Project Archaeologists from time to time. As one of Scotland's largest landowners the Trust cares for over 10,000 archaeological sites and features (over 100 are Scheduled Ancient Monuments). Many of the 1.500 roofed structures owned by the Trust, of which 270 are listed, also contain elements of archaeology. While this resource varies from property to property it also varies greatly in date, from the Mesolithic through to the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

Keep up to date with some of our most recent projects and discoveries by downloading the NTS Archaeology Bulletins (click here).

What we do

Our archaeologists are involved in almost every aspect of archaeology, from fieldwalking, survey and excavation, to practical conservation measures and interpreting sites for visitors. We also contribute beyond the Trust to help others care for Scotland's historic environment. We work closely with our neighbours, with universities, with government agencies like Historic Scotland, RCAHMS, and with politicians in the Scottish Parliament.

In this part of the website you can find news about recent discoveries, events and major projects, such as the Ben Lawers Historic Landscape Project.

Getting involved

Although some of our work is highly technical, there are many opportunities for volunteers or students to become involved: through Thistle Camps and Conservation Volunteer Groups, or on an individual basis - contact

Follow us on Twitter

Keep up to date with what the team are up to at @NTS_archaeology