Welcome to the Achavanich Beaker Burial Project, also known as the Ava Project.

Our research has focused on the archaeological remains of an individual who’s prehistoric burial was found in Caithness, Scotland, in 1987. This individual, who has become known as Ava (an abbreviation of Achavanich, where she was found), lived and died in Caithness 4,250 years ago.  Due to unfortunate circumstances, after the site was discovered and excavated, the site was mostly forgotten for almost 30 years. 

When I first came across the site in 2014, I decided two things: first I wanted to find out as much as I could about Ava, and secondly I wanted to tell her story to as many people as I could.  With the help of dozens of highly talented, exceptional individuals and the collaboration of multiple institutions we have now managed to both carry out a range of extensive research which has revealed remarkable insights into Ava’s life and death, and to share these results in a variety of creative ways. This research is now published online and is Open Access to anyone and everyone who wishes to read it. Alternatively, you can navigate through this website to find out more about Ava, or check out our blogs to see what else we are up to.


Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoy our work.

Best wishes,

Maya Hoole
(Project Manager)


9 Comments Add yours

  1. BJ Marlow says:

    Please use a darker color on the font, I can barely read the light grey color. Thank you.
    BJ Marlow


    1. mayahoole says:

      Hello BJ Marlow,
      Thanks for getting in touch. Is it just the text on this page or is it all pages that are hard to read?


      1. Myselfo says:

        The font in the entire website is #777777 and he/she is asking to make it darker, like #000000, for instance. No need to ask if in this page or in the rest, because in the entire website you use the same one.


      2. mayahoole says:

        Thanks Myselfo, I was more meaning if any of the text in the graphics (ie logo) were problematic.


    2. mayahoole says:

      Hello BJ Marlow,
      It is long overdue but I’ve made my number one new years resolution to be the redevelopment of the website to make it easier to read. I’d be very grateful if you could let me know if this redesign works better for you.
      Happy New Year,
      All the best,


  2. Virginia Gaines says:

    Very much agree–as an old person with ‘low vision’ I was very disappointed to see how pale the color of the text is. I don’t know any technical terms for this, just that as others have said it is very hard to read. I learned about Achavanich this summer for the first time from a car rental gentleman! Had just been to Orkney with my husband and we saw the Ness of Brodgar there. Then we were going on to the Hill o’Many Stanes when the car rental gentleman, Alistair, in Thurso told us about Achavanich and marked it on the map. Always prepared for people to think we’re crazy because we go to all these ancient places, we assumed he thought so too. However he was delighted that we actually went there and told him how much we had loved seeing it, and now I can’t wait for another Scotland trip to go back again. And now to have found all this information just takes my breath away. Thank you so much for supplying it. Make that font darker! Please!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mayahoole says:

      Hello Virgina, thanks for your comment. I’ve redeveloped the website and hope that now it is much easier to navigate and the text easier to read.
      I would love to know which car rental company you visited so that I can thank Alistair and send him information he can give to people like yourself who might be interested.
      All the best, Maya


  3. Vince says:

    Just heard you on the British History Podcast and wanted to say I think you’ve done amazing work on this and are a great communicator. My daughter loved hearing about this story as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mayahoole says:

      Thank you very much Vince, it’s lovely to hear from people who have listened to the podcast. I’m delighted to hear you both enjoyed it. Thanks for taking the time to drop me a message, it’s so rewarding getting these messages!


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