Recording work at Baile Sear from Access Archaeology

Access Archaeology work to explore the island's archaeological sites and provide better access to and interpretation of sites. Access Archaeology are an active group based in North Uist. They are currently the only Shorewatch group in the Western Isles. The group became involved with the Shorewatch project immediately after the hurricane of January 2005, during which archaeological sites had been uncovered and damaged all around the west coast of the island. The area of Baile Sear, in particular, was hard hit. Since then, the group have undertaken several training sessions in archaeological recording, and are monitoring and recording the remains of a prehistoric eroding site at Baile Sear beach. The recording of this site is ongoing and is valuable 'hard evidence' of the constant erosion of the site.

This is a plan of some of the eroding stone structures at Baile Sear. The site appears to be a prehistoric settlement. This was recorded in August 2005 by the group. The site included remains of cellular structures, as well as a hearth, which can be seen towards the centre of the drawing.

This plan shows the gradual erosion of the Baile Sear site. Green represents the erosion of the site between August and September 2005, blue represents the erosion of the site between September and December 2005, and black shows the coast edge and remaining archaeological features at the beginning of December 2005.

Four months on, in December 2005, the group returned to the site to record it again. This plan shows how 3-4 m of archaeology had been lost to erosion in the meantime. Note the large curving wall (marked in blue) which has appeared in section.

Members of Access Archaeology Shorewatch group planning the site in August 2005.

Several orthostats forming curved or semi-circular stone settings can be seen across the site.

The site is a low mound which rises above the beach at Baile Sear.

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