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Durham University

Department of Archaeology

All Research Projects

Uig Landscape Project

A research project of the Department of Archaeology.


The Uig Landscape Project is funded by Historic Scotland and reports on a large-scale landscape project in Lewis, undertaken by Edinburgh University between 1995 and 1998. Dr Mike Church is now co-ordinating the publication of the site excavated. Uig is mostly covered by blanket bog and represents a landscape rarely surveyed in detail in Atlantic Scotland. The project commenced in October 2009 and will be completed by March 2015 culminating in the production of an excavation reports for each individual site.
The initial survey identified 344 sites in the Uig landscape and of these four were chosen for targeted excavation. Three of the sites were selected as representative of monument classes rarely excavated in North Atlantic archaeology. These sites are Gob Eirer, a Late Bronze Age promontory enclosure; An Dunan, an Iron Age tidal islet comprising a causeway, an elaborate central hearth and evidence of later Norse re-use; and Guinnerso, a relict transhumance landscape, containing a 5.5m Holocene lake sequence, Bronze Age remains and a complex sequence of remarkably well-preserved sequence of Iron Age to Medieval shielings. The fourth site is a dismantled blackhouse in the buaile of Bereiro.

Published Results

Journal Article

  • Church, M. J., Nesbitt, C. & Gilmour, S. M. D. (2014). A special place in the saltings? Survey and excavation of an Iron Age estuarine islet at An Dunan, Lewis, Western Isles. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 143: 157-226.
  • Nesbitt, C., Church, M. J., Gilmour, S. M. D. & Burgess, C. P. G. (2013). Small-scale evaluation of a Post-Medieval Blackhouse at Bereiro, Lewis, Western Isles of Scotland. Journal of the North Atlantic 22: 1-19.
  • Nesbitt, C., Church, M. J. & Gilmour, S. M. D. (2011). Domestic, industrial, (en)closed? Survey and excavation of a Late Bronze Age / Early Iron Age promontory enclosure at Gob Eirer, Lewis, Western Isles. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 141: 31-74.


From the Department of Archaeology

Related links

Scottish Soldiers Project

Cooperating with the Palace Museum in China