A NEW archaeological survey of sea stacs off the Western Isles has uncovered evidence suggesting that the rocky outposts were inhabited from a much earlier period than previously thought, potentially revolutionising current thinking about who used the stacs and why.
Hundreds of sea stacs in varying shape and size protrude above the sea along coast of Lewis, in the Western Isles. Some stacs are joined to the mainland by a rocky promontory, while others are completely surrounded by water. If a fragment of land is wider than its height it is considered to be an island, but otherwise it is a stac.
Members of STAC prepare to abseil down the cliff face before climbing the stac.
Picture: Ian McHardy
Using the appropriately titled abbreviation STAC, members of the Severe Terrain Archaeological Campaign test their advanced climbing skills to conquer these sheer cliffs and access hitherto inaccessible sites. Established two years ago, the group uses information collected from oral history and old maps before visiting stacs that once showed signs of previous human habitation.
We saw something on this a while ago on some TV program. Then, it was only known that the stacks were inhabited fairly recently and primarily for defensive purposes. It seems like a neat study.
Tsunami update Indian ruins show signs of ancient tsunami
Archaeologists in southern India have discovered the ruins of an ancient Hindu temple that may have been destroyed centuries ago by a tsunami, an official said Wednesday.
The temple appears to have been built between the second century B.C. and the first century A.D. It was excavated this month just north of Mahabalipuram, a port town in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, by a team from the government Archaeological Survey of India, the team's chief Thyagarajan Satyamurthy said.
The region where the temple was found is in the same area affected by the Dec. 26 Asian tsunami. But the hardest hit areas of India were farther south near Nagappattinam.
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Fight! Fight! Archaeologist critical of development
Crescent Resources hasn't gone far enough in examining a cemetery at an area the company hopes will become a housing development, an expert archaeologist says.
Crescent, the land-development arm of Duke Energy, was told that graves on the site were most likely used for small animals. But experts argue that the company's methods wouldn't have turned up human remains.
Interesting about the use of GPR to locate possible graves. Of course, even small burial puts need not necessarily be animals, they could be bundle burials or the like. They should probably do a couple of test pits anyway, just to be sure. A couple in a likely spot or two probably wouldn't take more than a day.
ARCHAEOLOGISTS FIND 6TH-CENTURY MONK IN DIG
Archaeologists excavating the site of a Pictish monastery in Easter Ross have unearthed an extremely well preserved cist burial, thought to be the grave of a 6th or 7th-century monk.
And the skeleton found at Tarbat, Portmahomack, has been taken away to the University of York archaeology department for further analysis.
Excavation director Cecily Spall yesterday explained that they were about to finish this season's investigation of the site when they made the exciting discovery close to the Tarbat Ness road.
Flint remains show Stone Age life
A Stone Age settlement uncovered in the North Downs is being hailed as an important archaeological find.
The site at Bletchingly, Surrey, is undisturbed and could show where people gathered in Mesolithic dwellings.
Archaeologist Becky Lambert said: "We are plotting the exact location of the flint, so we might even be able to see patterns of where people were sitting."
Flint is often found during ploughing - this undisturbed site may reveal hearths and where food was made.