an Early Neolithic structure in its context
Balbridie, agricultural community
The excavation of a long timber-built structure of the early Neolithic near Callander (formerly Perthshire, now Stirling Council area) is described. The remains appear to be those of a structure measuring a maximum of c 24m by 8.5m with roughly straight sides and curved terminals, both of which have entrance gaps. About 1m in from both terminals is an arc of five posts; the interior is divided into between five and seven sections by these arcs and by a further three to five transverse screens or lines of posts. The pattern of division closely resembles that observed at the Neolithic site at Balbridie, Aberdeenshire, and it is argued that Claish, like Balbridie, was a roofed building. At both sites a central area unencumbered by many posts was created, and a relatively greater density of posts in the southern part of the structure perhaps indicates the presence of an upper floor. The relatively clear area contained two pits in which fires had been set, in one case on a layer of pot sherds. Similarities to other, but probably un-roofed, timber structures of the Neolithic of Perthshire and Fife are noted and it is suggested that there was an architectural ‘vocabulary’ in use in the early Neolithic in east-central Scotland.