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30 August 2016
Prehistoric settlement unearthed on Scottish island

Archaeologists have uncovered traces of buildings from about 2500 years ago on the small Hebridean island of Iona, off the west coast of Scotland, including the remains of a two-metre defensive wall. Excavations have also revealed pottery, flints, and other prehistoric material, indicating a prehistoric village.
     Archaeologist Hugh McBrien, of the West of Scotland Archaeology Service, says: "When we find something unexpected, as in this case, we have to stop and reconsider what we previously understood about the site. What is becoming clear is that when the ice sheets rolled back off Scotland some 10-12,000 years ago the Mesolithic hunter gatherers moved onto the islands and followed the retreating ice."
     The team discovered two different periods of building on top of the original village mound of more than 1,000 years, and a previously unknown extension to the medieval vallum, all in a shallow ditch next to the local school.
     Dr Clare Ellis, who led the site work, says: "What is most exciting to me is that the lines of the property that exist now are very similar to the property lines that existed more than 2,000 years ago," adding that she is keen to get back onto the site later in the year and carry out further investigations.

Edited from Herald Scotland, Archaeology Magazine (19 August 2016)

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