Pictish Byre-houses at Pitcarmick and their landscape: investigations 1993–5

Martin Carver (Author)

John Barrett (Author)

Jane Downes (Author)

Janet Hooper (Author)

Alison Sheridan (Contributor)

Fraser Hunter (Contributor)

Peter Rowe (Contributor)

Mark Edmonds (Contributor)

Derek Hall (Contributor)

Matilda Holmes (Contributor)

Radiocarbon Dates, Roundhouses, Settlement, Circular Stoneandturf Houses, Radiocarbon, Artefacts, Sheep, Farmsteads
Medieval, Bronze Age, 1988, Prehistoric, Middle Ages


`Pitcarmick-type' houses were identified by the Royal Commission in north-east Perthshire in 1988 and published in their survey of 1990. Long and narrow with rounded ends, they seemed to occur in a sequence between prehistoric roundhouses and medieval and post-medieval dwellings. They were therefore provisionally assigned to the later 1st millennium AD, a period associated in this region with the Picts. Excavations by John Barrett and Jane Downes at Pitcarmick (North) in 1993-5 defined the basic properties of two Pitcarmick-type houses and produced radiocarbon dates between the 8th and 11th centuries. A subsequent survey of the broader landscape by Janet Hooper offered a sequence of the main phases of occupation and their context. The Pitcarmick landscape had been settled in the Bronze Age with circular stone-and-turf houses, thought to represent a series of self-supporting farmsteads using mixed farming and in touch with similar settlements in adjacent territory. Two thousand years later, Early Historic settlers inserted their dwellings into this relict landscape, also practising mixed stock and crop farming. In the Middle Ages, the land was settled by farmers who kept sheep and ploughed the earlier settlement areas. The post-medieval period is represented by a group of shielings on the eastern edge of the prehistoric and early medieval settlement area, where ploughing continued. The original interpretation is revised in the light of new research on artefacts and the acquisition of tighter radiocarbon dates.


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How to Cite
Carver, M., Barrett, J., Downes, J., Hooper, J., Sheridan, A., Hunter, F., Rowe, P., Edmonds, M., Hall, D., & Holmes, M. (2013). Pictish Byre-houses at Pitcarmick and their landscape: investigations 1993–5. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 142, 145-199. Retrieved from http://journals.socantscot.org/index.php/psas/article/view/9788

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