|29 September 2004
Bronze Age artefacts found in Scottish sea stacks
Archaeologists have discovered ancient remains and buildings in some of the most inaccessible areas in Scotland. Members of the Severe Terrain Archaeological Campaign (Stac, funded by the Western Isles Council, Historic Scotland, the Society of Antiquaries and the Russel Trust) have been using climbing equipment to explore sea stacks in Lewis and Shetland. A sea stack is a pinnacle of rock which is surrounded by the sea at high tide.
Since forming in 2003, the Stac team has visited nine stacks and found buildings from the Iron Age and Bronze age, as well as pottery dating back to the Neolithic period. The archaeologists are now planning to return to some of the stacks to excavate them before erosion causes the settlements to be swallowed up by the sea, and lost forever.
Dr Chris Barrowman from Stac said it was likely outlaws or prisoners had once lived on some of the stacks, due to their remoteness. "No one has been able to look at these stacks before, because they are dangerous to get on to," said Dr Barrowman. "We have looked at most of the stacks around Lewis and will be doing some more work on the sites where we have found remains of buildings."
The group, all trained climbers, use ropes and climbing equipment to help them negotiate the stacks as they map out and record the sites. Their discoveries to date include a piece of pottery found on the Dun Asbroc sea stack near Lewis.
Source: Scotsman.com (27 September 2004)
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