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Not many people these days have heard of Christian Maclagan (1811-1901) who lived in Stirling and is buried in the old town cemetery: she was Scotland’s first female archaeologist and she is often credited with being one of the first people to undertake modern excavation.

In 1872 she identified a possible broch at Livilands. Unfortunately, she suffered from contemporary sexism and her work was overlooked and the broch ‘lost’. Indeed her first paper to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland had to be transcribed by a man, and Maclagan herself was unable to join the society as a Fellow because of her gender.

The site is now believed to have been relocated and excavation would help to confirm its presence – making it the only known broch to be situated in what is now an urban environment. Excavation would not only help to bring recognition to the invaluable and pioneering work of Christian Maclagan, it would also help provide insight into an incredible site that has been lost and left undisturbed for the past nearly 150 years. 

Murray Cook has launched a crowdfunding campaign to help fund a four-day excavation in Stirling (from the 16th to 19th September 2016), to help find it and excavate it. Contributors to the campaign can choose from a number of options, from receiving digital updates from the field to participating in the dig yourself (no experience necessary).

So can you help?

To find out more about the project, and how you can contribute, visit the crowdfunding page on Digventures, and visit the project website to keep up to date with the latest news. Crowdfunding closes on September 10th, 2016.


Image of Mousa Broch