Dr Murray Cook is Stirling Council’s Archaeologist and is from Leith originally, though he also lived and went to school in Edinburgh. He lives in Stirling with a long-suffering wife, three teenage girls and two pesky but loveable cats. He has undertaken numerous excavations across the region and published over 40 books and articles. He won a Stirling’s Provost Award in 2018 for his work for the Council, where he has helped raise over £300,000 to be spent on community archaeology and research and has even got invited to see the Queen at Holyrood Palace, along with a few hundred others! He has appeared on several TV programmes, and has sometime even been paid! He writes a regular column in the Stirling Observer and runs Stirling Archaeology, a Facebook page dedicated to Stirling’s fantastic heritage!
Murray studied at Edinburgh University worked first for AOC Archaeology, rising from subcontractor to Commercial Director. His PhD dissertation, which has a rather long and boring title, was based on 10 years of research in Aberdeenshire on settlement patterns between 2000 BC and AD 1000.
He is an Honorary Research Fellow at Stirling University, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, runs an occasional course at Forth Valley College on Stirling and likes to do it in ditches (archaeology, that is!). He also co-runs regular training digs open to all under the name Rampart Scotland.
Archaeology is at first glance an off-putting word, easy to say but hard to spell, and Murray has been called the Council’s Archivist and Architect before. But he believes that archaeology should be open to all, it is our shared past and it belong to everyone, so barriers should be removed. On this basis Murray runs a series of free walks, lectures and digs through the year to allow people to explore their past - and it's open to everyone.