Professor Steven Mithen of Reading University is on Islay again, carrying out a further archaeological excavation of a Mesolithic site. After a preliminary visit in 1986, two years later he began the first of a number of digs on the island, at Bolsay on the Rhinns. Over the intervening years, Steven and his team have been regular visitors to Islay and Colonsay, while also expanding the study of these hunter-gatherers that lived here between 8,000 and 10,000 years ago to Tiree, Coll and Mull. Apart from many scientific books and reports, Steven has also produced a delightful autobiographical account of his 20+ years excavating in the Inner Hebrides: â€œTo the Islandsâ€ (Raven Press, 2010), which I strongly recommend. It can be purchased at The Celtic Shop in Bowmore.
In each of the two last years, Steven has kindly taken the time to give public talks on his work on Islay, describing the most recent excavation he has been working on at Storakaig, and putting the results into a wider Hebridean context. We are delighted to say that Steven has agreed to give us another talk at the Natural History Centre in Port Charlotte, on Wednesday 29th August at 7.30pm. This time Steven will be taking a wider scope, looking at the impact of past climate change as can be gathered from the title of his talk: â€œToo cold for comfort: prehistoric abandonment of Islay, 8200 years agoâ€.