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An Archaeotastic First Week on St Kilda

27 April 2017


My name is Craig and I am the new St Kilda Archaeologist. I arrived on Friday by Helicopter from Benbecula and thoroughly enjoyed the views flying over the Atlantic, especially of the Monach Isles and the towering cliffs of Hirta emerging from the cloud. 


View of Hirta and Stac Levenish from the chopper.

In my travels I have found that no matter how much you study a place before you visit for the first time, the image that builds up in your head never quite matches up to reality. Sometimes things are smaller than you realise, or the relationships between structures and features are very different than you thought. I have seen images and maps of St Kilda since I was an undergrad, it’s a legendary place for archaeologists, but I never appreciated the scale of the place until I flew into Village Bay. It’s all quite a bit bigger and more spread out than I thought!


First Breakfast on St Kilda, beginning to settle in!

It’s been quite a busy week so far, I had a few days to explore and get my eye into the landscape before the heritage drystone specialist, Innes Watson of Highland Stonecraft, arrived to finish his work on the gable of Black House H which had begun last season (See previous diarys). He will be here for about a week helping us to preserve stone for stone the narrative the St Kildan’s left behind for us. I’ll be on hand to lend muscle, record the process and ensure we are operating within the archaeological framework.


Gable end of Black House H as I inherited it.

That’s all for now, until next time!


St Kilda Archaeologist

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