Underworlds

In recent years excavations on Skye have explored a remarkable cave, High Pasture Cave, and rock shelter, Fiscavaig.  Discoveries at both sites suggest they were the focus for ritual, feasting and burial during the Iron Age: more details can be found here.

There will be a free day seminar ‘Underworld: the use of caves, rock shelters and underground places during the Scottish Iron Age’ in Inverness on the 27 April.  Speakers will present on the results of excavation and analysis of these sites, and it should prove to be a very interesting (illuminating !) day.

Illuminating the Darkness The experience of being within cave sites is a topic which I have blogged briefly on before in relation a conference last year on Neolithic and Bronze Age ritual activity in underworlds.  The experience of both the sites on Skye would have been particularly heightened by their landscape context, High Pasture Cave being deep underground with a burn flowing through the limestone of Skye, and the Fiscavaig being at the foot of overhanging basalt sea-cliffs.  The interplay of light, water, sound and rock would have undoubtedly contributed to aspects of ritual at these sites.

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Please contact Highland Council Historic Environment Team to confirm your free place at the Underworld day seminar now. Telephone: 01463 702504 Email: archaeology@highland.gov.uk

The pictures have been kindly provided by J Sievewright who experienced the remarkable adventure of descending into High Pasture Cave on a trip exploring an art project inspired by the site.

Church of the Sea

The ruined church at Kilmuir, Troternish, Skye, is prominent in many views from the land, and can appear as a grim sentinel of Camas Mor Bay. It is said to have been used to navigate from the sea.

On the upper floor, before it had been abandoned and robbed, ships had been inscribed in the plaster…