June 29, 2017

Dun Colbost excavation

Dun Colbost is one of the most prominent prehistoric sites in the Glendale area and through community discussions connected with the Glendale Cemetery Wall project in the summer of 2014 the community expressed a desire for further excavations at the site.  Colbost Common Grazing, on whose land the site is located, are supportive of the proposals.  As part of the 2016 Glendale homecoming weekend a guided walk to Dun Colbost was arranged and this was followed up with a talk at the community hall.  This event was very well attended and the community agreed that further excavation the broch would be a worthwhile endeavour.

The purpose of the previous excavations carried out at Dun Colbost in the 1980s and 1990s was to assess the archaeology around the entrance. Excavation was carried out over three short seasons and there was considerable interest from the community including a visit from local schoolchildren. The finds included pottery similar to that recovered from two other nearby brochs excavated in the early part of last century and excavations at Dun Colbost would help in the interpretation and dating of these two sites.  There is great interest amongst the community in discovering what brochs can tell us about the communities that lived in Skye 2000 years ago.  Dun Colbost is a well preserved example in a beautiful location and there is a feeling that it is a site that both locals and visitors would enjoy visiting.  An experienced partner organisation will be appointed to assist the Trust fulfil this project.  The excavation of Dun Colbost will run over 5 years and will include –

Year 1 – excavate the entrance passage and reveal and secure the lintels. Excavate the floor of the passage and retrieve any dating material. Clear the wall-head.

Year 2 – excavate the broch interior. This will require a considerable amount of stone removal before the excavation begins.

Year 3 – complete excavation of the broch interior and excavate between the broch and the surrounding wall.

Years 4 and 5 – completion of reporting and publication, path works and interpretation.

The legacy of the project will be improved access to the broch with better interpretation and visitor proofing.  The project will extend the available information on the heritage and history of the area as well as providing valuable research into brochs for locals, visitors and scholars.

We would like to start the project in 2017 to coincide with the year of Heritage, History and Archaeology.

The project aligns with the Trusts vision as the Project will help preserve the extensive, exciting, colourful history and culture of the area in a professional and sustainable way.  It will also align with the Trusts vision through involving the whole community, both young and old, in its delivery while also having the potential to generate revenue.