Land of the Ilich: Journey's Into Islay's PastHardback
by Birlinn Ltd
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As an archaeologist, Steven Mithen has worked on the Hebridean island of Islay over a period of many years. In this book he introduces the sites and monuments and tells the story of the island's people from the earliest stone age hunter-gatherers to those who lived in townships and in the grandeur of Islay House. He visits the tombs of Neolithic farmers, forts of Iron Age chiefs and castles of medieval warlords, discovers where Bronze Age gold was found, treacherous plots were made against the Scottish crown, and explores the island of today, which was forged more recently by those who mined for lead, grew flax, fished for herring and distilled whisky - the industry for which the island is best known today. Although an island history, this is far from an insular story: Islay has always been at a cultural crossroads, receiving a constant influx of new people and new ideas, making it a microcosm for the story of Scotland, Britain and beyond.