Archaeologists Find Evidence Of Some Of Scilly’s Oldest Residents

A previous dig site at An Doirlinn on South Uist

A previous dig site at An Doirlinn on South Uist

Research currently underway on the islands into Scilly’s earliest settlers is indicating that people lived here in the Neolithic period, as well as the Mesolithic era before that.

A team of archaeologists are excavating around the Old Quay on St Martin’s as part of the Neolithic Stepping Stones project, which looks at how our ancestors made the leap, around 6,000 years ago, from hunting to farming.

Duncan Garrow, a Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at Liverpool University, says they have unearthed more flints and pottery shards than they had expected to.

And he says some fragments indicate that people were here in the earlier Mesolithic period too, up to 10,000 BC, which is a very interesting finding.

Duncan says Neolithic people tended not to stay in one place but moved around the landscape, although the amount of flint found at the site suggests they visited the area again and again over this period.

The team will stay on St Martin’s for the next fortnight. After talking to locals, they’re now going to move further around the coast, as the material is spread over a large area.

The archaeologists will be running an open day at the dig on Saturday 21st September so members of the public can take a look around.