[Rubh’ an Dùnain] is . . . an open time-capsule waiting to be examined
– Martin Wildgoose,
Sowing the seeds of a new community
Formally protected as an Historic Monument by the Scottish government in 2017, Rubh’ an Dùnain continues to generate international interest. Historians, archaeologists and students of Gaelic and Celtic heritage – as well as a curious public – want to understand more about this mysterious and beguiling land.
Archaeologists believe that, until the middle of the 1800s, this now-forgotten settlement had been in continuous occupation for perhaps 5000 years. The enthusiasm, knowledge and persistence of experts like Roger Miket, Adam Welfare, Martin Wildgoose and Dr David Macfadyen has delivered a solid foundation of knowledge which deserves now to be further developed.
In this section we invite you to view videos and broadcast news which illustrate just some of the many recent exciting discoveries and bring vividly to life theories about its past inhabitants.
Videos include an aerial drone film; a dramatic fly-through animation of the medieval harbour complex; and Roots of Revival, a 20-minute documentary of how one family of MacAskills, descendants of Rubh' an Dunain's last clan leader, took virtual ownership of their historic homeland and helped drive interest in this forgotten landscape.
Dr Colin Martin, the eminent marine archaeologist who has been leading recent research at the site, introduces the currrent thinking about the landscape and Professor Hugh Cheape of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig explains the role Gaelic language and culture can play in deepening our understanding of the past.
As worldwide interest in Skye grows, Rubh' an Dùnain itself is stimulating fresh ideas. A new piece of performance art involving designers, photographers and musicians from four countries, was filmed in 2019 at various locations on the island, chosen because of the Viking harbour connection with Rubh' an Dùnain.
There is a palpable sense that Rubh' an Dùnain, empty today save for the sheep, the curlew and the oystercatcher, could once again deliver a thriving community – at least online.
Time then now to consider its future . . .
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