The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Universities of Reading/Liverpool and the University of Southampton. It is also generously supported by our project partner museums: Guernsey Museums and Galleries, the Isles of Scilly Museum and Museum nan Eilean.

The project is also very grateful to Terry Queripel (Guernsey), to the Duchy of Cornwall and Steve Walder (Isles of Scilly), and to Stòras Uibhist and the North Boisdale grazing committee (South Uist) for permission to excavate on their land. We would also like to note that the initial research which led to this project was kindly funded by the Society of Antiquaries of London.

The Stepping Stones project, directed by Duncan Garrow (University of Reading (previously University of Liverpool until Sept 2013)) and Fraser Sturt (University of Southampton), aims to answer important research questions about the arrival of the Neolithic in and around Britain and Ireland c. 4000 BC. The project, whose full title is Stepping stones to the Neolithic? Islands, maritime connectivity and the ‘western seaways’ of Britain, 5000-3500 BC, represents a research collaboration between the Universities of Reading/Liverpool and the University of Southampton. We are also working closely with Cardiff UniversityHistoric Environment, Cornwall Council and our project partner museums: Guernsey Museums and Galleries, the Isles of Scilly Museum and Museum nan Eilean.

The project involves the excavation of three key sites (in the Channel Islands, the Isles of Scilly and the Outer Hebrides), computer modelling of the sea around that time, the construction of a database of all late Mesolithic and early Neolithic sites within the western seaways zone, and a major radiocarbon dating programme. A key outcome of our research will be a series of educational web resources drawing on this research, including a ‘western seaways’ navigation game within a Google Earth ‘plugin’ and a visualisation that enables users to see how sea levels have changed in the past.