In the Highlands of Scotland on the Moray Firth and on the south shore of the Black Isle and just up the coast from Rosemarkie, there are a series of sea caves. (Click the map link for location)
Some of these are large and dry, and all are at least 3 metres above the high water mark. For the past 7000 years, due to isostatic recovery after the last Ice Age, the land has been rising, while the sea has receded. The old, raised shoreline can be seen round most of the Black Isle; Cromarty, Avoch and Rosemarkie all sit on raised beaches, as do the caves.
Some of these are easily big enough to have been lived in during historic and possibly prehistoric times. They certainly would have been very inviting for any passing bands of hunter-gatherers. And, until recently, they were largely unexplored.
The Rosemarkie Caves Project is a partnership between people living locally and the North of Scotland Archaeological Society (NOSAS), assisted and advised by professional archaeologists. The group members want to investigate the archaeology of the caves to ascertain who used them, and when.
The evidence we have gathered so far suggests that the caves were in use from 300BC, with furher evidence suggesting a Pictish phase of occupation from around 600 to 700AD.
If you want to help, or find out more information about the project please use the feedback form.
The Cromarty Trust
Hunter Archaeological & Historical Trust