Until relatively recently subsistence in the Highlands could be precarious, with climate and poor soil causing difficulties for agriculture, especially in the west (Chapter 10.2). Even without crises caused by extreme events, environmental conditions in the Highlands tended to promote marginal subsistence, requiring ways to minimise risks and contingencies for food alternatives (Dodgshon 2004).
Rural daily life has been the focus of a number of studies, many of them incorporating oral history and old photographs (eg Baldwin 1994). Isabel Grant (1961; 2007) was a determined collector, and her accounts of her travels, the objects sourced and then the foundation of what became the Highland Folk Museum are valuable insights. Similarly, aspects of urban daily life have not been ignored. Undoubtedly more links could be made with physical remains on the ground and material culture, but the main difficulty is in drawing the information together and tracking down local studies and projects.
10.4.2 Health and Diet
10.4.3 Material Culture