Raasay: An Introduction to its Archaeological Monuments: By Martin Wildgoose ©
Raasay is not richly endowed with the remains of its ancient past. The monuments it does possess however are varied and well preserved. If a visitors were to sit on the summit of Dun Caan and be allowed to slip into the remote past to watch the unfolding of history, what would they see:-
The story begins about 10000 years ago
The last Ice Age has ended, (after a brief re-advance circa 13,000 – 11500 years ago), and the ice sheets have retreated northwards. Raasay lies open and bare, shaved clean by the passage of time and 650-700 meters of ice.
By 9000 years ago the land is bursting with new life, a haze of grass covers the lower hills and stands of Hazel and Birch sunbath in the sheltered corries and glens. Across the Sound of Raasay, in the distant north-west, on the island of Skye, a pillar of smoke can be seen rising from the fires of the first settlers to journey through the islands. On a calm sunny day it is easy to imagine these Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age) travellers crossing to Raasay on hunting trips or perhaps to gather limpets or Hazelnuts. Their trips to Raasay being part of a seasonal round governed by the availability and location of scarce food resources. Evidence of their visits to Raasay has recently been discovered in caves at the north of the island and on the shore close to Raasay house. (Wickham-Jones, C.R. and Hardy, K.)