A PROJECT to investigate the Viking history of the Arrochar and Tarbet area will begin next month.
Entitled ‘The Hidden Heritage of a Landscape: Vengeful Vikings and Reckless Rustlers’, the project is community-led and will use popular interest in Viking history to involve local people.
The main focus will be the Vikings and how they used the land, and their influence on the area.
Behind the scheme is the Arrochar and Tarbet Community Development Trust, and it has received a 50% grant of £50,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £37,400 from Argyll and the Islands Leader.
One of the organisers, Trust treasurer Iain Dick, said: “The Trust first has to commission some project workers and archaeologists, and then it will get into full swing, sometime later in November hopefully.
“The project will run throughout 2013 and finish with a flourish and a big conference in June 2014.”
Iain was one of the volunteers on the recent Morlaggan excavations research project, and said that it was one of the motivations behind the new project. He said that volunteers will be fundamental as the project is about encouraging people who are not normally interested in heritage, archaeology and the landscape to engage with all three.
Community training workshops — based on the two mile 'isthmus' landscape between Arrochar and Tarbet — will be held on subjects such as documentary research, including place names, archives, maps, census records, Viking archaeology; surveying; recording and mapping; excavation; graphic design; and heritage interpretation.
Iain said: “All of these activities are aimed at experienced and inexperienced volunteers from the local area, and a recruitment drive will start very soon to publicise the opportunities and organise field work programmes.
“There is a special emphasis on involving young people, which will include working with primary and secondary schools to develop innovative interpretation activities using art, boatbuilding, theatre, storytelling, and the archaeological training workshops.
“Much of the focus will be on the 750th anniversary of the Battle of Largs, and the celebrations taking place in Largs next August and September.”