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Iron Age construction and Early Medieval reuse of crannogs in Loch Awe, Argyll: new radiocarbon dates and analysis

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JournalProceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
DatePublished - 30 Nov 2021
Volume150
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)435-449
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Despite its influence on Scottish crannog studies, absolute dating evidence for activity on the crannogs of Loch Awe has been lacking. This paper presents previously unpublished radiocarbon dates from six crannogs in the loch. Of these, five sites have provided dates within the 1st millennium BC, confirming the existence of Iron Age crannogs in the loch – four of which may have been occupied contemporaneously. The dates fit in to the now widely appreciated pattern of occupation in the 1st millennium BC and later reuse in the 1st millennium AD. Using Bayesian statistical analysis, dating of the early medieval phase at Ederline Boathouse crannog was improved, with modelling suggesting occupation could have been limited to just a few decades of the second half of the 6th century AD. No evidence for activity after AD 900 was recovered, though the current number of samples analysed is small and high medieval activity is well attested on a number of islets on the loch through historical references and surviving structural remains. This broad chronological pattern is discussed and ide-as that promise avenues for future research in light of new, high-precision, chronological techniques are highlighted.

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