Investigation of the Artificial Island in Loch Kinellan, Strathpeffer. With a Report on the Bones and on the Pottery
Pits, Charcoal, Timber, Pottery, Longifrons, Crannog, Burnt Clay
1476, Nineteenth Century, Medieval
Excavations were carried out over a number of seasons and included the recovery of a dug-out canoe which was serving as an underlying support of a portion of the woodwork in one of the pits. The crannog was a hunting seat of the Earls of Ross during the medieval period. When in 1476 ,the Earldom" of Ross was irrevocably annexed to the Crown, the " management of its rent" was entrusted by the King to the Earl of Sutherland, who transferred the trust to Alexander Mackenzie of Kintail, sixth chief of the Mackenzies. By the nineteenth century it was being used as a kitchen garden. It does not appear to have been a matter of common knowledge that the island was artificial. Structurally the island appears to consist of three main series of layers:, the upper structure of earth, clay, and boulders, with local seams\r\nof peat, charcoal, and burnt clay, the strata represented in the west half of the island by the platforms of timber with the intervening occupation debris, and in\r\nthe east half by the stratified layers of brushwood, clay, peat, and habitation refuse, the mass of organic material at the base of the island. Little direct evidence of the age of the crannog was obtained in course of the investigation. That wood-chips, cut with a sharp iron instrument, exist at the base of the island, is helpful only in a general way. The bones included portions of the skull of a shorthorn ox, which may be the Celtic shorthorn, Bos longifrons.