Martin Carver was Professor of Archaeology at the University of York for over 20 years. Before that he was a freelance contract archaeologist, directing research projects in England, Scotland, France, Italy and Algeria. From 1983-2005 he directed the Sutton Hoo research project, and in 1994 he came to Portmahomack to direct excavations there at the invitation of Tarbat Historic Trust.
His books include Underneath English Towns (Batsford 1986), Sutton Hoo. Burial Ground of Kings? (British Museum 1998) and Surviving in Symbols. A Visit to the Pictish Nation (Birlinn 1999). at teh time he delivered this lecture his latest book was Portmahomack, Monastery of the Picts (Edinburgh University Press) an account of the Tarbat Discovery Programme, describing the ten year excavation of the Pictish monastery at Portmahomack and research on the Tarbat peninsula. Since then the research monograph has been published Portmahomack on Tarbat Ness: changing ideologies in north-east Scotland, sixth to sixteenth century AD.