A Crannog of the First Millennium AD: Excavations by Jack Scott at Loch Glashan, Argyll, 1960

Crone, A. and Campbell, E. (2005) A Crannog of the First Millennium AD: Excavations by Jack Scott at Loch Glashan, Argyll, 1960. Society of Antiquaries of Scotland: Edinburgh, UK. ISBN 9780903903363

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Abstract

<p>The early medieval crannog in Loch Glashan was excavated in 1960 by Jack Scott, in advance of dam construction. Originally interpreted as a domestic settlement, the crannog produced a rich organic assemblage of wood and leather objects as well as exotic items such Continental imported pottery and a brooch studded with amber. Tantalising glimpses of this assemblage have appeared in publications over the years but, for the first time all the evidence from the crannog has been drawn together and re-examined. New radiocarbon dates, together with datable artefacts, suggest a complex chronology for the crannog, with activity throughout much of the 1st millennium AD. This extended chronology is at odds with the scant structural remains which display little evidence of the refurbishment and repair that one might expect had the crannog been occupied for hundreds of years. This apparent conflict is examined, raising general questions about the taphonomy and post-depositional history of crannogs. A new explanation is put forward, suggesting that the visible stratigraphy is the result of a complex sequence of erosion due to the effects of wind and water movement, eroding and dispersing deposits and artefacts.</p> <p>Re-examination of the artefact assemblage, which comprises the bulk of the evidence from Loch Glashan, has provided many new insights, perhaps the most significant of which is the identification of a leather satchel which may have held books, the oldest surviving example of a type known to have been used by early monks. Its presence on the crannog is puzzling but other artefactual evidence, together with its location, suggests that the crannog may have had a non-domestic function, possibly as a craftworkers site where leather was worked and exotic items for the aristocratic elite of the early medieval kingdom of Dál Riata were produced.</p>

Item Type:Books
Status:Published
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Campbell, Dr Ewan
Authors: Crone, A., and Campbell, E.
Subjects:C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Archaeology
Publisher:Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
ISBN:9780903903363
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