Exploring site formation and building local contexts through wiggle-match radiocarbon dating: re-dating of the Firth of Clyde Crannogs, Scotland

Jacobsson, P., Hale, A. G.C., Cook, G. and Hamilton, D. (2018) Exploring site formation and building local contexts through wiggle-match radiocarbon dating: re-dating of the Firth of Clyde Crannogs, Scotland. European Journal of Archaeology, 21(3), pp. 411-430. (doi:10.1017/eaa.2017.60)

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Abstract

There are at least four wooden intertidal platforms, also known as marine crannogs, in the Firth of Clyde, on the west coast of Scotland. The interpretation of these sites partly depends on their dating and, if coeval, they could point to the presence of a native maritime hub. Furthermore, the spatial coincidence with the terminus of the Antonine Wall has led to speculation about the role they may have played in Roman-native interaction during the occupation of southern Scotland in the early first millennium cal ad. Hence, a better absolute chronology is essential to evaluate whether the marine crannogs were contemporary with one another and whether they related to any known historic events. This article presents results of a wiggle-match dating project aimed at resolving these uncertainties at two of the sites in question, Dumbuck and Erskine Bridge crannogs. The results show that the construction of these sites pre-date direct Roman influence in Scotland. Furthermore, the results indicate that the two sites were built at least 300 years apart, forcing us to consider the possibility that they may have functioned in very different historical contexts. Other findings include technical observations on the fine shape of the radiocarbon calibration curve near the turn of the first millennia bc/ad and potential evidence for persistent contamination in decayed and exposed sections of waterlogged alder.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hamilton, Dr William and Hale, Mr Alexander and Cook, Professor Gordon and Jacobsson, Dr Piotr
Authors: Jacobsson, P., Hale, A. G.C., Cook, G., and Hamilton, D.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:European Journal of Archaeology
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:1461-9571
ISSN (Online):1741-2722
Published Online:01 November 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 European Association of Archaeologists
First Published:First published in Radiocarbon 21(3):411-430
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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