An important aspect of the excavations at The Cairns is the investigation of an extramural settlement beyond the walls of the broch, which appears to be contemporary with the use of the broch.
Village buildings have been encountered in other Northern Isles broch excavations such as Howe, Lingro, and most famously at Gurness and Midhowe, as well as in Caithness and Shetland. We want to try to understand the roles of these structures and their social, political and economic relationship to brochs.
Currently, we are working on Middle Iron Age period village buildings on the north, south and east sides of the broch. These are Structures O, J, N, S, and P.