Link to printer-friendly page

Record details

External Ref:HPC006
Name:Excavation - High Pasture Cave site, Isle of Skye: 2009
Organisation:West Coast Archaeological Services
Date:May-Oct 2010


Continued excavations were carried out at the High Pasture Cave site in 2009 under the direction of West Coast Archaeological Services. The aim of the fieldwork was to further evaluate the extent and preservation of the remaining archaeological deposits in the deep natural hollow outside the entrance to Bone Passage (Trenches 2 and 15), and other ancillary structures and complex deposits identified at the surface around the cave and stairwell entrance. The major excavations undertaken centred on existing trenches including trench extensions (Trenches 2, 15, 19 and 20). Trenches 2 and 15 focused on the forecourt area immediately outside the stairwell entrance to the cave (Bone Passage), while trenches 19 and 20 targeted the major area of burnt spreads to the east of the stairwell entrance. Test Pit Trenches 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9 were set out to investigate the extent of the burnt spreads at the site and anomalies highlighted by the geophysical surveys in May 2006 (see EHG1384). Finally, Test Pit Trenches 8 and 10 were located to investigate a possible route of access into the site from the east, in which the geophysical survey indicated a concentration of burnt material. The fieldwork and preliminary analysis undertaken during 2009/10 has demonstrated the potential importance of the High Pastures site with regards to understanding domestic and ritual life, and death during the later prehistoric period in the west of Scotland, at a time when significant environmental change was taking place on a national scale. <1>

In addition to the excavations undertaken at the High Pasture Cave site the team also excavated a test trench within Uamh an T-Sill (Cave of the Seed/Cave of the Skull); a site from which human remains had been recovered at the time of discovery and exploration of the cave in 1984 (Birch et al, 2009: 97). Details pertaining to the trenches excavated can be found in Section 4 of the linked report.

Type(s) of Investigation



Uamh an Ard Achadh (High Pasture Cave) & Environs Project, Strath, Isle of Skye 2009  © West Coast Archaeological Services et al (File size: 3662 KB)
Grid Reference:Centred NG 5944 1972 (41m by 24m)
Map Sheet:NG51NE
Civil Parish:STRATH
Geographical Area:SKYE AND LOCHALSH
Location:Uamh an Ard Achadh (High Pasture Cave), Strath, Isle of Skye

Associated Finds - none

Sources and further reading

  • Text/Report/Fieldwork Report: Birch, S., Wildgoose, M. and Kozikowski, G.. 2010. Uamh an Ard Achadh (High Pasture Cave) & Environs Project, Strath, Isle of Skye 2009: The Preliminary Assessment and Analysis of Late Prehistoric Cultural Deposits from a Limestone Cave and Associated Surface Features. West Coast Archaeological Services et al. Digital.

Related Monuments/Buildings

MHG32043Uamh an Ard Achadh (High Pasture Cave) (Monument)

Related thematic articles

Conservation Areas
Listed Buildings
Scheduled Ancient Monuments
Designed Landscapes
Registered Battlefields
Marine Protected Areas