Women of the Hill | High Pasture Cave

High Pasture Cave is an extraordinary archaeological site at Kilbride, Glen Suardal, Isle of Skye. It was rediscovered by cavers in 1972, and has undergone extensive excavations revealing many significant finds. These include an interred adult female and foetus, votive spindle whorls and quern stones, a fragment from the first stringed instrument in Europe, and other evidence of ritual and domestic activity. Tuulikki collaborated with local archaeological experts Martin Wildgoose and George Kozikowski to develop the performance, exploring the life cycles and symbolic significance of High Pasture Cave.

Archeological evidence and folklore suggest the site held sacred significance within the wider region, with the cave serving as a dedicated shrine for a matriarchal culture, and the amphitheatre-like hollow hosting rituals and large-scale gatherings. Towards the end of the Iron Age a mysterious burial of a young woman brought that era to a close; the cave was sealed and the entrance forgotten.

The preliminary archaeological report conducted by Steven A. Birch, Martin Wildgoose and George Kozikowska can be read here.