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Uig Landscape Project

Uig Landscape Survey

The initial survey of the Uig landscape was undertaken in1996 by a team from the Department of Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. The survey was sponsored by Historic Scotland and the Department of Archaeology, University of Edinburgh and its main aim was to assess the erosion of the archaeology and built heritage within the coastal zone of the west, north-west and north-east of Lewis. The survey covered a 441-km linear stretch of coastline and recorded 1825 individual cultural heritage sites, 15 palaeoenvironmental sites and 319 geomorphic and erosion cells.

The results also contributed to the research interests of the wider Calanais Archaeological Research Programme which included the development of computer-aided survey, provision of a linear survey control along the coasts for the various area survey projects undertaken within the study area and an examination of the coastal strip for potential sites for rescue excavation and selective sampling. This survey area was a linear transect from Aird Drollageo in the south-west around the Butt of Lewis to Ranish. This area comprised the intertidal zone and a 50-200 m strip inland from the Mean High Water Spring (where possible).

In addition to the land survey, environmental cores were extracted from the drained loch at Guinnerso and a series of sampling and subsampling techniques were applied to investigate the detailed vegetation and sedimentological history of the site in relation to the geomorphic features in the locality and the archaeological landscape more generally.