Mesolithic site on Skye to be investigated

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Excavations of a Mesolithic site on Skye could give new insights into the lives of some of the island’s earliest residents.

Mesolithic site on Skye to be investigated
Archaeologists have described the site as having “huge potential”
[Credit: Staffin Community Trust]

Archaeologists believe the location above Staffin Bay has the remains of a house that could be 8,000 years old. Mesolithic flints have previously been found in an area of eroded grazing land near the site.

Archaeologists will work with Staffin Community Trust and volunteers in making small excavations. The University of the Highlands and Islands’ Archaeology Institute will lead the investigation.

Archaeologist Dan Lee said the dig at the site of “important prehistoric occupation” had “huge potential”.

Mesolithic site on Skye to be investigated
Volunteers will help in making small excavations near An Corran 
[Credit: Staffin Community Trust]

Staffin Community Trust director Dugald Ross added: “Despite Staffin having a wealth of prehistoric remains, this is the area’s first archaeological excavation in 20 years and its Mesolithic potential is intriguing and exciting.”

During the Mesolithic period, also known as the Middle Stone Age, Scotland was inhabited by hunter-gatherers who lived off the wild resources of the land and sea. Important finds from the period have been made elsewhere in the Highlands and Islands.

Four years ago, archaeologists said they believed the remains of burned oak uncovered at the site of the first Sainsbury’s in the Highlands was evidence of an ancient “rest stop”.

Radiocarbon dating of the hearth, found in an investigation conducted before the supermarket was built in Nairn, placed it in the Mesolithic period.

The site on Staffin is near An Corran where there are footprints left by dinosaurs 165 million years ago.

Source: BBC News Website [September 02, 2015]

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