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1 August 2015 Archaeological Signatures of Landscape and Settlement Change on the Isle of Harris
Kevin Colls, John Hunter
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Between 2004 and 2011, a program of archaeological investigation by the University of Birmingham on the Isle of Harris, a distinctive island forming part of the Western Isles of Scotland, has allowed the archaeological remains of this enigmatic place to be further characterized and understood. Despite intensive archaeological interest in the archipelago for a number of decades, the Isle of Harris has been overlooked, and only now are we beginning to identify the archaeological resource and make comparisons to the wealth of published data from islands such as the Uists, Barra, and Lewis. This paper highlights some generic overall patterns of archaeological signatures on the Isle that have been identified through a range of archaeological methods including field walking, intrusive excavation, aerial reconnaissance, geophysical and topographical survey, and documentary research. Several key case studies will be introduced including upland shieling complexes and mulitperiod settlement sites on the west coast machair systems. The purpose of the paper is not to present a gazetteer of the results of the work to date, but to highlight some of the key findings with a view to demonstrating that the Isle of Harris is directly comparable with the archaeologically rich landscapes of the other islands.

Kevin Colls and John Hunter "Archaeological Signatures of Landscape and Settlement Change on the Isle of Harris," Journal of the North Atlantic 9(sp9), 108-124, (1 August 2015).
Published: 1 August 2015
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