It’s the summer of 2018, and Zoë Wiacek, a student at England’s University of Reading, is spending part of her vacation on an archaeological dig in Scotland. Specifically, she’s hunkered down in a trench that’s been dug at the site of historic Dunyvaig Castle on the island of Islay. Then, after turning over a fragment of masonry, Wiacek makes an incredible discovery: a piece of Scottish antiquity from over four centuries ago.
Before we find out more about Wiacek’s extraordinary find, though, let’s delve a little into the history of Dunyvaig Castle. While Dunyvaig may be a ruin today, the structure nevertheless once played an important part in one of Scotland’s legendary clan feuds: the centuries-long bitter rivalry between the MacDonalds and the Campbells.
And Dunyvaig Castle sits on the southern shores of Islay, located just off the west coast of mainland Scotland. Yet although the monument itself originated from the 16th century, the site’s original substructure is certainly much older than that – it possibly dates back to prehistoric times.