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Hebrides News


A 2000 year old structure has been discovered in Ness in Lewis.


The tunnel or souterrain has been hidden underground since it was built in the Iron Age - around 300BC.


It came to light by accident when uncovered by a digger excavating foundations for a new house build in the village of Knockaird.


The souterrain is a stone-lined passageway roofed with flat slabs and buried under the soil.


This particular site is on high ground giving an excellent sea view as well as looking over a valley - allowing villagers to observe any enemy approaching for miles.

When originally constructed the souterrain would have led from larger dwelling - known as an Atlantic roundhouse - to a small chamber.


















Some historians believe such chambers were used as a hiding place of refuge when settlements were under attack.


Others reckon they were a type of larder to keep meat chilled.


Island archaeologist Dr Chris Barrowman says the structures are always found empty so the lack of artefacts means their use is a mystery.


He favours the theory they were used to store food.


He says the souterrain is intact, well preserved and is an excellent discovery.




2000 year old chamber discovered during building works

9 February 2018