Online Talk: New evidence for the earliest inhabitants of the Isle of Skye
28 September 2020, Starts: 19:30
New evidence for the earliest inhabitants of the Isle of Skye
Talk by Dr Karen Hardy (Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA), Barcelona)
Skye and Raasay are particularly important in the search for the earliest evidence of the North British pioneer populations due to the presence of a small number of broad blade assemblages that suggest humans were present here before the Mesolithic period. These pioneer populations were likely to be small, highly mobile groups, who reached Scotland after crossing Doggerland, most probably following herds of animals. But the evidence for them has so far come from surface lithic scatters and some old collections that are now being reanalysed. South Cuidrach is a new broad blade site that has two discrete layers sealed under a raised beach. Here lithic artefacts characteristic of the Late Upper Palaeolithic, an assemblage of worked ochre pieces, and some remains of charcoal, have been uncovered. I will discuss this and the other evidence for an early human presence in Skye and Raasay.
Karen is a prehistoric archaeologist, currently employed as a research professor at the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA), in Barcelona. Her research is based around early prehistoric dietary reconstruction and also prehistoric use of coastal regions. She has worked in Wester Ross for almost 25 years, on early prehistoric sites between Torridon to the Point of Sleat.