Archaeology of landscape change in south-west Scotland, 6000 BC–AD 1400: excavations at William Grant and Sons Distillery, Girvan

Authors: Iain Banks, Paul R J Duffy and Gavin MacGregor

Contributors: Ewan Campbell, John S Duncan, Jennifer Miller, Susan Ramsay, Catherine Smith, Eland Stuart, Keith Speller, Stuart Halliday, Bob Will, John Arthur, Caitlin Evans and Charlotte Francoz

Summary: Between 1996 and 1998, Glasgow University Archaeological Research Division (GUARD) undertook a programme of archaeological investigation at the headquarters of William Grant and Sons Distillers Ltd, Girvan (NGR: NS 200 006). The work revealed evidence of occupation and use from prehistoric times, including palaeobotanical and pedological evidence of deliberate prehistoric tree clearance, and the presence of six discrete deposits of burnt mound material. The project also confirmed the survival of archaeological deposits relating to the occupation of the medieval moated enclosure of Ladywell. A number of worked lithics, indicative of prehistoric tool making or maintenance, were also recovered. The excavation and post-excavation work allowed an opportunity to explore the occupational, ecological and geomorphological history of the entire length of the valley, from the immediate post-glacial period to the present day. The results contribute significantly to our understanding of the changing patterns of human interaction with environment and landscape over a period of some 10,000 years, both in the immediate area and beyond.

Keywords: Moated Enclosure, Pedological, Burnt Mound Material, Pottery, Animal Bone

Periods: Medieval, Prehistoric, Mesolithic

Location: South Ayrshire, Scotland, UK

Published: 01-01-2008

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