Excavations of a wheelhouse and other Iron Age structures at Sollas, North Uist, by R J C Atkinson in 1957
Decorative Motifs, Glass, Floors, Cremated Animal Burials, Pottery, Pits, Animal Bone
Iron Age, Second Century Ad
Rescue excavations at Sollas investigated a well-preserved Iron Age wheelhouse and a more ruinous circular building. Much decorated pottery was recovered from stratified contexts, enabling a sequence of forms and decorative motifs to be proposed. The construction of the wheelhouse can be shown from a series of radiocarbon measurements and artefacts to date to the first or second century AD, providing a fixed point in the much debated Hebridean pottery sequence and in the development of Hebridean round-houses. Beneath the wheelhouse floors were a large number of pits, many containing articulated, dismembered or cremated animal burials, attesting to ritual practices. The site, which is the first wheelhouse excavation to be published for twenty years, has important implications for the structure, chronology and function of wheelhouses in the Hebridean Iron Age. There is a report on the `Animal bone' by Judith Finlay (147--8 & microfiche 3:D9--F10) and an `Analysis of glass and pigment' by Julian Henderson (microfiche 3:D7--D8).