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Date June 2002

Event ID 998242

Category Project

Type Project


NB 5355 6501 Work was carried out in June 2002 on the tidal island of Dun Eisdean (NB 56 NW 01), to record any archaeological deposits prior to the construction of a steel footbridge across to the site. The island is believed to be the ancestral home of the Clan Morrison.

Two trenches were opened, one on either side of the chasm dividing the island from the mainland of Lewis. Trench 1 on the island measured 3.5 x 11.0m and ran from the edge of the island, over the main wall (structure H), and onto flat ground next to structure B (see DES 2001, 99-100). Over 300 sherds of local hand-made pottery were recovered from the southern half of this trench, as well as some iron slag and pieces of waterlogged wood. A lead pistol shot, measuring c 10mm in diameter, was also recovered. This had not been fired and retained its sprue.

A 3.5m section of the main wall (structure H), which runs round the landward side of the island, was excavated and seen to be constructed of turf with stone facings. The external facings were intact to a height of just under 1m . The wall had collapsed inwards, the turf and earth core slumping over the majority of the trench.

A further wall was revealed 3m to the N, running across the trench E-W. Although heavily robbed, it still retained two to three courses of masonry on either face for half of its length. It had a turf and earth core, and a gravel foundation. The wall may have accommodated a structural post, as a post-hole was revealed within a 0.5m gap in the wall. Four crude flint tools were recovered from its internal face. Between these two walls lay occupation deposits of pottery, waterlogged wood, and pieces of corroded iron. A number of beach pebbles were also strewn about.

Trench 2 was situated on the mainland side, and measured c 15 x 11m. No significant features were found, and only two sherds of similar pottery and one flint artefact were recovered.

A stone hammer and narrow flint blade were also discovered about 300m to the S, along the route of a road, which was also constructed to allow access to the island. (GUARD 716.4)

Report to be deposited in the NMRS.

Sponsors: Clan Morrison Society, Comunn Eachdraidh Nis, Commhairle nan Eilean Siar, Western Isles Enterprise.

C Barrowman 2002

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