Age of Iron
Cracknie Souterrain - Sutherland, Highland
A souterrain is an underground stone-lined cellar, usually dating from the Iron Age. The word comes from the French ‘sous terrain’, which means ‘underground’. The souterrain at Cracknie is a particularly good example. It leads from a narrow entrance on the surface, gently sloping downwards to reach a small chamber at its end. It was probably associated with a roundhouse built on the ground surface above and could have been used to store food (most likely meat and cheese), or as a secret refuge or even a prison for slaves.
High Pasture Cave - Uamh An Ard Achadh, Skye
In 2002 local archaeologist Steven Birch was making a routine visit to Uamh An Achach (Cave of the High Field, or High Pasture Cave), when he discovered prehistoric material in a long abandoned passage in the cave, revealed by cavers attempting to clear a new route. Investigations on the surface subsequently revealed stone structures of prehistoric and historic dates. The High Pasture Cave Project was born, and it gradually brought to light one of the most significant occupied caves in Britain, with a history spanning the 6000 years, from the Mesolithic to the post medieval period. Among the thousands of objects which were uncovered during the excavation is the famous lyre bridge, the earliest to be found in Europe. It was deposited in the second half of the 4th century calBC, a thousand year before the earliest known lyre burials of southern England.