EHG3590 - Excavation - High Pasture Cave site, Isle of Skye: 2009



West Coast Archaeological Services


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.

Sources/Archives (1)



Location Uamh an Ard Achadh (High Pasture Cave), Strath, Isle of Skye
Grid reference Centred NG 5944 1972 (41m by 24m) (11 map features)
Map sheet NG51NE
Geographical Area SKYE AND LOCHALSH
Unitary Authority HIGHLAND
Civil Parish STRATH

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

  • Uamh an Ard Achadh (High Pasture Cave) (Monument)

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Record last edited

Dec 23 2014 12:12PM

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