is leading the excavation of one of the houses. As so often happens here, the site has probably seen more than one phase of occupation, with a thumbnail scraper and quartz core with a worked flake indicating that it may have been occupied as early as Mesolithic times.
The artefacts found in the house are all 19th century. While some of the interior was covered with flagstones, most is of mud, suggesting, again, that the floor may have been removed before the house was abandoned. There is a also some evidence that this building may have been lived in later than the others. Perhaps, when the clachan was cleared, its occupant stayed on to work for the farmer who tenanted the sheep run.
This is an example of one of the hammer stones. The type of rock selected seems to vary, suggesting that more than one process may have been going on here.
The picture they have built up is of iron being worked on a large scale - but high on a hill so the fires could have been seen from tens of miles away. In those days, iron smelting was a magical process, a power which was broadcast far and wide. Ardnamurchan, in having this, was a special place.
The team are available again for an open day on Sunday, and will be working at this site all next week.
The success of this project is reflected in an award they won last year - the Archaeology Training Forum's "Training Project of the Year", which is tribute to the success they have had with their students.