Baile Sear, North Uist - August 2005  The SCAPE Trust
Coll Archaeology Association: Aerial images
A member of the Coll Archaeology Association has fitted a model aeroplane with a lightweight digital camera. He operates the shutter release with a remote control. He has flown his plane over various parts of the island, photographing the ground below. In some cases he has concentrated on areas where sites have been seen on the ground. Other times, the photographs taken have revealed sites not known about before. The following images were taken from the model aeroplane.
Image 1
This photograph shows a structure built in the intertidal zone. It is to the right of this picture and extends from the shore (at the top) into the water. It is made of two parallel rubble walls with the area between the walls having been cleared of stone to allow access for boats. It is presumably either a jetty or a place for working on boats.

The intertidal zone is covered in rubble, and in order to pull boats up, this had to be cleared. Finding such cleared areas is often a good way of locating sites on the coast edge. As well as the cleared area between the walls, two other cleared channels can be seen in the centre of the picture.

Image 2
This photograph shows a large rock in the bay (on the right) connected to the coast (left) by a wall. The wall has collapsed but the northern face (facing the top of the picture) can be clearly seen.

It may have acted as a harbour wall, providing shelter for boats which could have entered the bay to the right of the large rock. Alternatively, it may be the remains of a large fish-trap. Fish would enter the bay at high tide, but would have become trapped behind the wall as the tide went out. A gap (for example to the right of the rock) would have been fitted with a net to trap any fish attempting to leave.

Image 3
This photograph shows the coast (to the left) and the intertidal zone (to the right). A cleared way can be seen leading to a triangular wedge cut into the coast edge. Investigation of the site showed that it was a noost. Noosts are found around the west and north coast of Scotland and are places to keep boats safe when they have been pulled out of the water. This noost is sharply pointed and lined with stone. It is also extremely large and the triangular wedge is over 10 metres long.

The photograph also shows a sea wall that runs along the coast edge at the top of the picture. In the bottom right of the image is part of the wall from the previous image.

Image 4
This is a close-up shot of the noost in the previous image. The shape of the noost suggests that only half of the boat fitted into it, the other half would have rested in the intertidal zone. The sea wall running along the coast edge is very obvious in this picture, as is the cleared area leading to the noost.

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