Despite its rugged and barren appearance, Assynt has been settled for many thousands of years. From about 5000 BC, Assynt was largely covered by woodland and was probably home to small groups of Mesolithic hunter-gatherers, although no direct evidence of their presence has yet been found. They probably concentrated on the coast but no doubt ventured inland to hunt and fish.
The Beginnings of Farming The first farmers appeared in the North around 4000 BC when the herding of livestock brought more permanent settlement at a time when the climate was warmer and drier than it is now. Between 30 and 40 Chambered Cairns built by these Neolithic people survive in Assynt – one of the largest concentrations anywhere in the country.
The cairns can all be found in the areas of more productive ground in the zone of Cambrian limestone and associated rocks running from Achmore in the north to Knockan in the south-west and to beyond Loch Borralan in the southeast. The Creag nan Uamh ‘Bone Caves’ at Stronchrubie were also used as a burial place during this period. See Loch Borralan Chambered Cairn.