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High Pasture Cave Excavations – Skye

November 17, 2007

Skye Mountains

The High Pasture Cave & Environs Project was initiated in 2003, after disturbed archaeological deposits relating to Saddle Quernthe use of the site during the Late Bronze Age and Iron Age periods were found in a high-level fossil passage of the cave located in the south of the island of Skye, Scotland.

Local archaeologists Steven Birch and Martin Wildgoose are co-directing the project work, which has also been assisted by volunteers from the local community and archaeology students from Mainland and overseas universities. From their preliminary investigations at High Pastures it would seem that the function of the site has changed through time and while it is possible that the cave may have been used as a natural feature in which to deposit domestic rubbish, it is also becoming increasingly obvious that people entered this dark and strange world for other reasons.

 Martin excavating in Bone PassageWork at the site over the past two years has revealed a stone-built passage descending, via a steep flight of steps, from the surface to the natural limestone cave below. In 2005, the remains of three humans were found in the blocked stairwell, burials dating to the Iron Age around 2000 years ago, while a wide range of artefacts of stone, bone and antler were recovered from other areas of excavation at the site.

They are looking for fieldwork volunteers for the High Pasture Cave & Environs Project for the 2008 season, from the local communities of Skye & Lochalsh and from further afield. The excavations will commence at the beginning of May 2008 and  generally work a five day week (Monday to Friday). Therefore, if you are interested in assisting the project team at the site please go to the website below for further details.


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