Arc-eòlas agus ath-chruthachadh
Our recycling ancestors

While it may drive modern-day excavators mad, our ancestors were masters of recycling and reusing materials. Throughout the ecomuseum, one can find numerous examples of sites where Bronze Age structures were used throughout the Iron Age with adjustments and modifications, sometimes all the way into modernity.

For example, Dùn Grianan near Loch Mealt is a site which was robbed in antiquity, used as a sheep fank by crofters, and had parts of the wall rebuilt in the modern age. Dùn Connavern is another site where one can find evidence of stone robbing. The material was then reused in the crofts built directly below it, creating the Herishader settlement.

Traditional croft houses
Traditional croft houses continue to be inhabited across Staffin, with a strong continuity in this lifestyle. Photo credit: Dan Lee 2019

One can see the continual relevance of the land in these sites. As they were reused and reoccupied, more layers of human stories were added so that today, you can walk among these structures and see the resilience of our ancestors through thousands of years of history.

Croft Houses and Stone Wall
Traditional croft houses with a stone wall in the foreground. The stones were probably recycled from earlier sites. Photo credit: Dan Lee 2019

If you’d like to learn more about Staffin’s archaeological sites, please check out our new archaeological assessment of the area at this link.

Always remember when exploring our beautiful island to practice good stewardship. Stick to the paths, take out anything you bring in, and keep dogs on a lead so future generations can enjoy our sites as we do today.