|Excavations on Ben Lawers show people have been using the landscape since 7,000BC. Photograph: NTS|
A landmark archaeological project has revealed new insights into the history and inhabitants of the highest mountain in the central Highlands.
Archaeologists working on Ben Lawers have uncovered evidence of human activities dating back 9,000 years to the Stone Age – and virtually every period since.
Relics unearthed include everything from standing stones, burial cairns and prehistoric flint tools to the remains of Iron Age settlements, ruined Jacobite-era croft houses and even brass-rimmed spectacles.
Finds show that what now appears an empty landscape once thronged with human activity, with thousands of people living in the area in times gone by.
The study is the culmination of two decades of excavations and research at the National Trust for Scotland nature reserve around Ben Lawers, on the north shores of Loch Tay in Perthshire.
The study is a uniquely detailed examination of a previously unexplored upland area that is characteristic of much of the central Highlands.
It tells the story of human interaction and occupation from prehistoric times to the recent past, with a particular focus on the last millennium.
The findings reveal that cultivation was carried out much higher in upland areas than previously thought, with trees felled to clear land at an early stage. [...] The Scotsman