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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
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