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Bronze Age “rig and furrow” agriculture discovered by drones on Scottish islands

Compass Hill on Canna Island, Inner Hebrides, Scotland

“an incredibly detailed 3-D map of the connected islands”

Two of the Inner Hebrides islands off of Scotland’s western coast were recently subjected to a detailed aerial survey performed using drone technology. Both Sanday and Canna were known to have been occupied by humans as early as 12,000 years ago, but the new survey revealed substantially more information with substantially greater detailed topographical information than ever before. The islands were also of interest during Roman insurgence into the British Islands and ultimately throughout the periods of Norse rule and that of Scottish clans. With the Treaty of 1707, the Hebrides became subjects of British rule, or the New Kingdom of Great Britain.

The islands were acquired by the National Trust for Scotland in 1981, which continues to administer them. The islands are mostly known today as the home of some 20,000 seabirds. Still, the National Trust was able to harvest his new technology to perform such a detailed survey without disturbing the seabirds. (The 2003 photo of Compass Hill on Canna Island by Peter Van den Bossche is shared under under CC BY-SA 2.0).


Drone Captures Thousands of Years of Archaeology on Remote Scottish Islands

By Jason Daley

February 6, 2019

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