Can you dig it – Yes you can says Archaeologist Murray Cook

Murray Cook looks out over Stirling

Can you dig it – Yes you can says Archaeologist Murray Cook

An exciting new evening course aims to dig up the past and reveal archaeological techniques and practices to highlight the history of Stirling.

Murray Cook - Stirling Council’s Archaeologist – will be leading the six week course titledDigging Stirling - An Introduction to Archaeology & History of Stirling’, at Forth Valley College’s Stirling Campus starting on Tuesday 23 April from 6-8pm, and applications are now open to fill the 19 slots available.

The overview of the course mentions that as Stirling sits at the lowest crossing point of the Forth, “if you don’t control Stirling you couldn’t control Scotland”. Many have said that every major event in Scottish history has involved Stirling in some way.

Students who enrol on the course that costs £120, will learn about Scotland’s earliest ancestors, as well as Romans and Picts, Vikings and Angles, Kings and Queen, heroes and villains. They will also experience two field trips – one to the Old Town Cemetery and a fascinating excavation trip to Stirling Castle’s ‘midden’ on the Back Walk.

Murray, who has worked in archaeology since 1996, said: “Stirling is amazing from a historical and archaeological point of view. It is absolutely unique, not just from a Scottish focus, but across the whole of the UK. It is up there with London or Berlin and Paris from a historical and archaeological context, but very few people in this area seem to know that.

“The ‘midden’ is always a fascinating place to dig and we regularly find medieval pottery, musket balls, coins and oyster shells which may have been held by royalty! Why not join me as we explore Scotland’s former capital and understand the best preserved medieval city in Scotland!”

The course will include six two hour lectures and two field trips:

  • Introduction to the history of Archaeology
  • Stirling’s Geography and its influence on Scottish History
  • Romans and Celts
  • Wars of Independence
  • Stewarts: From Peak to Trough
  • Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites
  • Field trip to Old Town Cemetery (Sunday morning trip – 3 hours)
  • Field Trip Excavation of Stirling Castle Midden (Sunday morning trip 3-4 hours)

For more information on this course and how to apply click here and to view all evening courses available on the FVC website click here 


Murray's view on Stirling
Murray Cook at the 'midden'
Murray Cook with some quick finds


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