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North Uist, Loch Nan Geireann, Eileann An Tighe

Settlement (Neolithic), Hammerstone(S) (Neolithic), Lithic Implement(S) (Quartz)(Neolithic), Lithic Implement(S) (Chert)(Neolithic), Lithic Implement(S) (Flint)(Neolithic), Polished Axehead (Stone)(Neolithic), Scraper (Tool)(S) (Flint)(Neolithic), Unidentified Pottery (Neolithic)

Site Name North Uist, Loch Nan Geireann, Eileann An Tighe

Classification Settlement (Neolithic), Hammerstone(S) (Neolithic), Lithic Implement(S) (Quartz)(Neolithic), Lithic Implement(S) (Chert)(Neolithic), Lithic Implement(S) (Flint)(Neolithic), Polished Axehead (Stone)(Neolithic), Scraper (Tool)(S) (Flint)(Neolithic), Unidentified Pottery (Neolithic)

Alternative Name(s) Aird Reamhar

Canmore ID 10372

Site Number NF87SW 1

NGR NF 8424 7310

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Western Isles
  • Parish North Uist
  • Former Region Western Isles Islands Area
  • Former District Western Isles
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Archaeology Notes

NF87SW 1 8424 7310.

(NF 8421 7311) A 'Western Neolithic pottery workshop' overlaid by two later (possibly 18th century) sub- rectangular buildings, was excavated by Scott in 1937 on Eileann an Tighe, an islet in Loch nan Geireann.

The workshop comprised three kilns of horizontal type, and may have lasted for three generations (L Scott 1953). The pottery, which included Unstan bowls late in the sequence, is closely related to the Beacharra A and B groups of the Clyde-Carlingford culture (PSAS 1953) Finds included a small polished stone axe, hammerstones, pumice, flint scrapers etc. They are now in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS, L Scott 1953; PSAS 1953).

L Scott 1953; Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1953; S Piggott 1954.

The site of the neolithic pottery workshop on Eleann an Tighe lies on the NW end of the island near a small modern cairn. The only remains that can now be seen are those of the later (possibly 18th century) structures.

Visited by OS (R D) 21 June 1965.

(NF 8424 7310) Neolithic Pottery found AD 1937 (NAT)

OS 1:10,000map, (1971)

The RCAHMS (1928), writing before Scott's excavations, describe the ruins of five old structures on Eilean an Tighe which were excavated by Beveridge: On the SW of the islet was a rectangular building measuring 13 1/2 by 11ft within walls 2ft thick; towards the N end of the island, the remains of a structure about 12ft in diameter within walls 2 1/2ft thick. There are less distinct traces of another, smaller enclosure towards the SE end of the island and the centre of the island has been occupied by two adjoining circular structrues of similar appearance. It is suggested that the island may have been connected by a causeway to the nearby promontory of Aird Reamhar.

Over the years, much material from Eileann an Tighe has been donated to the NMAS, including the artifacts from the excavations by Beveridge (PSAS 1922). This includes many sherds of neolithic pottery, flint scrapers and a flint knife, a felstone axe and an adze of basaltic stone.

Eilean an Tighe is noted by Miss Henshall as a neolithic habitation site; it is very doubtful if it was a kiln site as suggested by Scott. Brief mentions of the types of pottery found are made.

RCAHMS 1928; E Beveridge 1911; A S Henshall 1972; Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1912; 1922; 1929; 1942; 1978.

The following finds are held in the Royal Museum of Scotland:

NMS EOA 423-7: Fragments from polished stone axes from the 1937 excavations at Eilean an Tighe, North Uist.

NMS EOA 428-9: Flakes from the same excavations.

Information from NMS typescript archaeology continuation catalogue (per Dr J A Sheridan), September 1990.

Five axes or flakes from these excavations have been petrologically examined. One axe-fragment (NMS EQA 423/Clough and Cummins UST 2) and a flake (NMS EQA 424/Clough and Cummins UST 3) have been identified as serpentised peridotite. Another flake (NMS EQA 425/Clough and Cummins UST 4) has been attributed to group IX (porcellanite from Tievebulliagh and Rathlin, Northern Island). A further axe-fragment (NMS EQA 426/Clough and Cummins UST 5) has been identified as siltstone, and a polished flake (NMS EQA 429/Clough and Cummins UST 6) remains unattributed.

T H McK Clough and W A Cummins 1988.


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