Display the Past at Nairn Museum - Culbin Sands: From Prehistory to Present

archFrom January to March 2011 volunteers at the Nairn Museum and local community members got the chance to take part in a course run through Nairn Museum by ARCH’s Cathy MacIver. The course focused on researching, designing and constructing a temporary exhibit to go on display in Nairn Museum. It gave course participants an exciting chance to see behind the scenes at Nairn Museum and some insight into how to research and display finds.

Trevor Cowie of National Museums Scotland shows the group a ground stoneThe exhibition focussed on the very large assemblage of finds from Culbin Sands. With over 29500 finds from Culbin at the National Museum alone, this was no easy feat. Visits to NMS in Edinburgh and to the more local Elgin Museum helped to expand the scope of our exhibition, which displayed photographs of some of the more interesting finds from these museums through a slideshow. Culbin finds can also be found in museums such as Inverness, Forres and Aberdeen Marischal Museum.

Finds at Elgin MuseumThe display consisted of the Culbin finds from Nairn Museum and some interesting finds on loan from Elgin Museum. The activity at Culbin from early prehistory to present was told through the story of some of the most interesting artefacts found in this region.

The temporary exhibition at Nairn Museum was on show until October 2011 but a small element of the display remains to be seen at Nairn. Copies of the information from the display panels are available through links below and there is a hard copy with Nairn Museum.


Culbin Forest and CoastIntroduction to Culbin Sands

Culbin, The Site

Finds at Culbin

Exploring Early Prehistoric Societies at Culbin

The Bronze Age at Culbin

The Iron Age at Culbin

The Origin of Finds at Culbin

The Folklore of Culbin

Sandscapes, an ever changing environment

The Collecting Traditions

A Collector, Rev. John MacEwan

Culbin Forest

Culbin Timeline


ARCH wishes to thank all the course participants and museum volunteers who wrote text, researched sites and finds, took photographs and put the display together. Special thanks go to Iain Sarjeant who designed and produced the final display panels.

All photographs are copyright of National Museum of Scotland, Elgin Museum or Nairn Museum unless otherwise specified and should not be reproduced without prior consent.


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