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High Pasture Cave: Ritual, Memory and Identity in the Iron Age of Skye
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High Pasture Cave: Ritual, Memory and Identity in the Iron Age of Skye (Hardback)

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High Pasture Cave, located on the island of Skye, Scotland, occupies a liminal location on the very edge of a settlement, and appears to have been a focus for specific and special activities. Its extended period of use is indicated by ephemeral signs of Neolithic Activity, limited Bronze Age usage, and vast artefactual and environmental assemblages recovered dating to the Early to Middle Scottish Iron Age, c.800 BC to AD 150.

High Pasture Cave details the research-led excavations at the cave and its context in the landscape, including geology and stratigraphy, the use and transformation of the cave from the Neolithic, post-Medieval activity after the site's closure, chronology and radiocarbon dating, the human remains, and stable isotope analysis.

The examination of the site indicates that the High Pasture Cave Complex was a special place, a focus for significant communal events, for undertaking ritual and special activities, and a place for deposition of significant objects - a place whose significance remained embedded in social memory long after active use ceased. These findings challenge our current understanding with regards to cave use and function, and with relation to the wider understanding of Iron Age cultural and religious beliefs.

History & PoliticsArchaeologyArchaeology by period / regionPrehistoric archaeology Publisher: Oxbow Books Publication Date: 28/01/2021 ISBN-13: 9781785709500  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: Pre-order for despatch on publication. Pre-Order

Steven Birch is a freelance archaeologist and director of West Coast Archaeological Services. He is co-director of the High Pasture Cave and Environs Project. He is interested in British Archaeology of all periods, but more specifically the prehistory of Scotland, including the use of caves and the Mesolithic period. Jo McKenzie is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Bradford, with a focus on Scottish prehistory. She is interested in soil micromorphology, ceramic petrography, and the Neolithic to Iron Age in Scotland and the Isles. Gemma Cruickshanks is post-excavation officer at the Scottish History and Archaeology Department at National Museums Scotland, and is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Edinburgh. Her research interests include material culture during the first millennia BC and AD, particularly iron, ironworking, worked bone and antler, and pottery.

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