A new chronology for crannogs in north-east Scotland

Michael J Stratigos (Author)

Gordon Noble (Author)


Keyword(s):
Crannog
Location(s):
The Houff; Auchinhove; Aberdeenshire; Loch of the Clans; Nairnshire; Loch of Leys; Banchory; Castle Island; Loch Kinord; Prison Island; North-East Scotland; Scotland; UK
Period(s):
Iron Age, Medieval, Early medieval

Abstract


This article presents the results of a programme of investigation which aimed to construct a more detailed understanding of the character and chronology of crannog occupation in north-east Scotland, targeting a series of sites across the region. The emerging pattern revealed through fieldwork in the region shows broad similarities to the existing corpus of data from crannogs in other parts of the country. Crannogs in north-east Scotland now show evidence for origins in the Iron Age. Further radiocarbon evidence has emerged from crannogs in the region revealing occupation during the 9th–10th centuries ad, a period for which there is little other settlement evidence in the area. Additionally, excavated contexts dated to the 11th–12th centuries and historic records suggest that the tradition of crannog dwelling continued into the later medieval period. Overall, the recent programme of fieldwork and dating provides a more robust foundation for further work in the region and can help address questions concerning the adoption of the practice of artificial island dwelling across Scotland through time.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Bailey, E 2000 ‘The Crannog of Leys’, in Bailey, E (ed.) Crannog to Castle, 225–31. Banchory: Leys Publishing.
Barber, J W & Crone, A 1993 ‘Crannogs; a diminishing resource? A survey of the crannogs of south-west Scotland and excavations at Buiston Crannog’, Antiquity 67: 520–33.
Blundell, O 1909 ‘Notice of the Examination, by means of a Diving-dress, of the Artificial Island, or Crannog, of Eilean Muireach, in the South End of Loch Ness’, Proc Soc Antiq Scot 43: 159–64.
Burnett, J 1851 ‘Two Bronze Cooking Vessels in the Loch of Leys’, Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1: 26–7.
Caldwell, D H 2010 ‘Finlaggan, Islay, the centre of the Lordship of the Isles. Excavations and fieldwork 1989–1998. Part two, introduction and background’. National Museums of Scotland Monograph Project Report. http://repository.nms.ac.uk/id/eprint/214. Accessed 3 April 2018.
Caldwell, D H & Ewart, G 1993 ‘Finlaggan and the lordship of the Isles: an archaeological approach’, The Scottish Historical Review 72: 146–66.
Cavers, G 2006 ‘Late Bronze and Iron Age Lake Settlement in Scotland and Ireland: the development of the “crannog” in the north and west’, Oxford Journal of Archaeology 25: 389–412.
Cavers, G 2007 ‘The complexity of crannog taphonomy: old and new evidence’, in Barber, J, Clarke, C, Cressey, M, Crone, A, Hale, A, Henderson, J, Housley, R, Sands, R & Sheridan, J A (eds) Archaeology from the Wetlands: Recent Perspectives. Proceedings of the 11th WARP Conference, Edinburgh, 2005, 243–53. Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.
Cavers, G 2010 Crannogs and Later Prehistoric Settlement in Western Scotland. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports, British Series, 510.
Cavers, G & Henderson, J 2005 ‘Underwater Excavation at Ederline Crannog, Loch Awe, Argyll, Scotland’, International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 34: 282–98.
Cavers, G, Crone, B A, Engl, R, Fouracre, L, Hunter, F, Robertson, J & Thoms, J 2011 ‘Refining Chronological Resolution in Iron Age Scotland: Excavations at Dorman’s Island Crannog, Dumfries and Galloway’, Journal of Wetland Archaeology 10: 71–108. https://doi.org/10.1179/jwa.2011.10.1.71.
Chapman, H P & Cheetham, J L 2002 ‘Monitoring and modelling saturation as a proxy indicator for in situ preservation in wetlands – a GIS-based approach’, Journal of Archaeological Science 29: 277–89.
Conyers, L 2018 Ground-penetrating Radar and Magnetometry for Buried Landscape Analysis. Cham: Springer.
Crone, A 2007 ‘“From indirections find directions out”; taphonomic problems at Loch Glashan crannog, Argyll’, in Barber, J, Clarke, C, Cressey, M, Crone, A, Hale, A, Henderson, J, Housley, R, Sands, R & Sheridan, J A (eds) Archaeology from the Wetlands: Recent Perspectives. Proceedings of the 11th WARP Conference, Edinburgh, 2005, 223–30. Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.
Crone, A 2012 ‘Forging a chronological framework for Scottish crannogs; the radiocarbon and dendrochronological evidence’, in Midgley, M S & Sanders, J (eds) Lake Dwellings after Robert Munro: Proceedings from the Munro International Seminar: The Lake Dwellings of Europe 22nd and 23rd October 2010, Edinburgh, 139–62. Leiden: Sidestone Press.
Crone, A 2014 ‘Dendrochronological Studies of Alder (Alnus glutinosa) on Scottish Crannogs’, Journal of Wetland Archaeology 14: 22–33.
Crone, A & Campbell, E 2005 A Crannog of the First Millennium AD: Excavations by Jack Scott at Loch Glashan, Argyll, 1960. Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.
Crone, A & Cavers, G 2010 ‘Eadarloch Crannog, Loch Treig, Lochaber. Technical report, publication report and survey’, AOC Archaeology Ltd report to Historic Scotland. http://her.highland.gov.uk/Source/SHG26592. Accessed 3 July 2018.
Davies, R R 1990 Domination and Conquest: the experience of Ireland, Scotland and Wales, 1100–1300. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Dixon, N 1981 ‘Preliminary excavation of Oakbank crannog, Loch Tay: interim report’, International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 10: 15–21.
Dixon, N 2004 The Crannogs of Scotland: An Underwater Archaeology. Stroud: Tempus Publishing Ltd.
Dixon, N 2007 ‘Crannog Structure and Dating in Perthshire’, in Barber, J, Clarke, C, Cressey, M, Crone, A, Hale, A, Henderson, J, Housley, R, Sands, R & Sheridan, J A (eds) Archaeology from the Wetlands: Recent Perspectives. Proceedings of the 11th WARP Conference, Edinburgh, 2005. 253–65. Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.
Dixon, N, Cook, G T, Andrian, B, Garety, L S, Russell, N & Menard, T 2007 ‘Radiocarbon Dating of the Crannogs of Loch Tay, Perthshire (Scotland)’, Radiocarbon 49: 673–84. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0033822200042569.
Grigor, J 1863 ‘Notice of the Remains of Two Ancient Lake Dwellings or Crannoges, in the Loch of the Clans, on the Estate of James Rose, of Kilravock, Nairnshire, with a Plan’, Proc Soc Antiq Scot 5(1): 116–19.
Grigor, J 1864 ‘Further Explorations of the Ancient Lake Dwellings in the Loch of the Clans, on the Estate of Kilravock, Nairnshire’, Proc Soc Antiq Scot 5(2): 332–5.
Groome, F 1884 Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland, A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical, and Historical. Edinburgh: Thomas C Jack.
Harding, D W 2000 ‘Crannogs and Island Duns: Classification, Dating and Function’, Oxford Journal of Archaeology 19(3): 301–17. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-0092.00111.
Heimdahl, J 2005 ‘Urbanised Nature in the Past: Site Formation and Environmental Development in Two Swedish Towns, ad 1200–1800’, PhD thesis, Stockholm University. http://su.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2%3A197550&dswid=. Accessed 2 July 2018.
Henderson, J 1998 ‘Islets through time: the definition, dating and distribution of Scottish crannogs’, Oxford Journal of Archaeology 17: 227–44. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-0092.00060.
Henderson, J 2009 ‘Taking the waters: Scottish crannogs and the Atlantic Iron Age’, in Cooney, G, Becker, K, Coles, J, Ryan, M & Sievers, S (eds) Relics of Old Decency: Archaeological Studies in Later Prehistory 39–48. Dublin: Wordwell.
Henderson, J, Cavers, G & Crone, A 2006 ‘The south-west crannog survey: recent work on the lake dwellings of Dumfries and Galloway’, Transactions of the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society 80: 29–51.
Jacobsson, P 2015 ‘Improving the 14C dating of south-west Scottish wetland sites’, PhD thesis, University of Glasgow. https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/7231. Accessed 2 July 2018.
Jacobsson, P, Hale, A G C, Cook, G & Hamilton, D 2017 ‘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. https://doi.org/10.1017/eaa. 2017.60.
Lenfert, R 2012 ‘Long-term continuity and change within Hebridean and mainland Scottish island dwellings’, PhD thesis, University of Nottingham. https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/13829. Accessed 2 July 2018.
Lenfert, R 2013 ‘Integrating Crannogs and Hebridean Island Duns: Placing Scottish Island Dwellings Into Context’, The Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology 8: 122–43. https://doi.org/10.1080/15564894.2013. 766912.
McArdle, C M, McArdle, T D & Morrison, I 1973 ‘Notes: Scottish Lake-dwelling Survey: archaeology and geomorphology in Loch Awe, Argyllshire’, International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 2(2): 381–2.
Michie, J G 1910 [2010] Loch Kinnord: Its History and Antiquities. Ballater: Deeside Books.
Morrison, I 1985 Landscape With Lake Dwellings: the crannogs of Scotland. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Mowat, R 1996. The Logboats of Scotland. Oxford: Oxbow Books.
Munro, R 1882 Ancient Scottish Lake Dwellings or Crannogs. Edinburgh: Thomas & Archibald Constable.
Munro, R 1893 ‘Notice of Crannogs or Lake Dwellings recently discovered in Argyllshire’, Proc Soc Antiq Scot 27: 205–22.
[NSA] New Statistical Account. The Society for the Sons and Daughters of the Clergy (eds) 1845. The New Statistical Account of Scotland. Edinburgh.
Newton, N & Talbot, E 1998 ‘Excavations at the Peel of Lumphanan, Aberdeenshire, 1975–9’, Proc Soc Antiq Scot 128: 653–70.
Noble, G, Gondek, M, Campbell, E & Cook, M 2013 ‘Between prehistory and history: the archaeological detection of social change among the Picts’, Antiquity 87: 1136–50. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0003598x00049917.
O’Grady, O J T 2017 ‘Lochore Castle – discover the ancient Lomonds, watching brief’, Discovery and Excavation in Scotland, New Series 17: 80–1.
Oram, R 2008 ‘Royal and Lordly Residence in Scotland c1050 to c1250: an historiographical review and critical revision’, The Antiquaries Journal 88: 165–89. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0003581500001372.
Oram, R 2011 Domination and Lordship: Scotland, 1070–1230. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
[OSA] Old Statistical Account. Sinclair, J (ed.) 1791–9. The Statistical Account of Scotland. Edinburgh.
Piggot, M 1953 ‘Milton Loch Crannog I. A native house of the 2nd century ad in Kirkcudbrightshire’, Proc Soc Antiq Scot 87: 134–52.
RCAHMS 2007 In the Shadow of Bennachie; A Field Archaeology of Donside, Aberdeenshire. Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.
Reimer, P J, Bard, E, Bayliss, A, Beck, J W, Blackwell, P G, Bronk Ramsey, C, Grootes, P M, Guilderson, T P, Haflidason, H, Hajdas, I, Hatt, C, Heaton, T J, Hoffmann, D L, Hogg, A G, Hughen, K A, Kaiser, K F, Kromer, B, Manning, S W, Niu, M, Reimer, R W, Richards, D A, Scott, E M, Southon, J R, Staff, R A, Turney, C S M & van der Plicht, J 2013 ‘IntCal13 and Marine13 Radiocarbon Age Calibration Curves 0–50,000 Years cal bp’, Radiocarbon 55: 1869–87.
Ritchie, J 1942 ‘The lake-dwelling, or crannog in Eadarloch, Loch Treig: its traditions and its construction’, Proc Soc Antiq Scot 76: 8–78.
Roy, W 2007 The Great Map: The Military Survey of Scotland 1747–55. Edinburgh: Birlinn.
ScARF 2012 Atkinson, D & Hale, A (eds) Marine and Maritime Panel Report. Scottish Archaeological Research Framework: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. http://tinyurl.com/c5d7txv. Accessed 2 July 2018.
Shelley, M 2009 ‘Freshwater Scottish loch settlements of the late medieval and early modern periods; with particular reference to northern Stirlingshire, central and northern Perthshire, northern Angus, Loch Awe and Loch Lomond’, PhD thesis, University of Edinburgh. http://hdl.handle.net/1842/5806. Accessed 3 April 2018.
Shelley, M 2011 ‘Timothy Pont and the Freshwater Loch Settlements of Late Medieval and Early Modern Mainland Scotland’, Scottish Geographical Journal 127: 108–16. https://doi.org/10.1080/14702541.2011.586643.
Shelley, M 2013 ‘The Isle of Loch Clunie: the key to the see of Dunkeld’, Innes Review 64: 39–65.
Simpson, W D 1919 ‘The Doune of Invernochty’, Proc Soc Antiq Scot 53: 34–45.
Simpson, W D 1929 ‘The Early Castles of Mar (First Paper)’, Proc Soc Antiq Scot 63: 102–38.
Simpson, W D 1943 The Province of Mar. Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press.
Stratigos, M J 2016a ‘The lost lochs of Scotland: Tracking land-use change and its impact on the archaeological record’, Journal of Wetland Archaeology 16: 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1080/14732971.2016.1248129.
Stratigos, M J 2016b ‘A Reconsideration of the Distribution of Crannogs in Scotland’, in Erskine, G J R, Jacobsson, P, Miller, P & Stetkiewicz, S (eds) Proceedings of the 17th Iron Age Research Student Symposium, Edinburgh 29th May–1st June 2014, 95–106. Oxford: Archaeopress.
Stratigos, M J 2017 ‘Crannogs in north-east Scotland: understanding the resource’, PhD thesis, University of Aberdeen. http: //ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.731628. Accessed 3 April 2018.
Stratigos, M J & Noble, G 2014 ‘Crannogs, castles and lordly residences: new research and dating of crannogs in north-east Scotland’, Proc Soc Antiq Scot 144: 205–22.
Stuart, J 1866 ‘Notice of a Group of Artificial Islands in the Loch of Dowalton, Wigtownshire and of other Artificial Islands or “Crannogs” throughout Scotland’, Proc Soc Antiq Scot 6: 114–78.
Stuart, J 1874 ‘Note of Recent Excavations at St Margaret’s Inch, in the Loch of Forfar’, Proc Soc Antiq Scot 10: 31–4.
Sutherland, K 1989 ‘Auchenhove, Lumphanan Parish’, Discovery and Excavation in Scotland 1989: 24.
Tabraham, C J 1997 Scotland’s Castles. London: B T Batsford.
Yeoman, P 1988 ‘Mottes in Northeast Scotland’, Scottish Archaeological Review 5: 125–33
Published
21-11-2018
How to Cite
Stratigos, M., & Noble, G. (2018). A new chronology for crannogs in north-east Scotland. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 147, 147-173. https://doi.org/10.9750/PSAS.147.1254
Section
Articles