A Norse Settlement in the Outer Hebrides
Excavations on Mounds 2 and 2A, Bornais, South UistSeries:
Imprint: Oxbow Books
752 Pages, 197 x 210 mm
- October 2019
This volume explores the stratigraphic sequence uncovered by the excavation of Bornais mounds 2 and 2A. The excavation of mound 2 revealed a sequence of high status buildings that span the Norse occupation of the settlement. One of these houses, constructed at the end of the eleventh century AD, was a well preserved bow-walled longhouse and the careful excavation and detailed recording of the floor layers has revealed a wealth of finds that provides invaluable insight into the activities taking place in this building. The final house in this sequence is very different in form and use, and clearly indicates the increasing Scottish influence on the region at the beginning of the thirteenth century.
The excavation of mound 2A provides an insight into the less prestigious areas of the settlement and contributes a significant amount of evidence on the settlement economy. The area was initially cultivated before it became a settlement local and throughout its life a focus on agricultural activities, such as grain drying and processing, appears to have been important. In the thirteenth century the mound was occupied by a craftsman who produced composite combs, gaming pieces and simple tools.
The evidence presented in this volume makes a major contribution to the understanding of Norse Scotland and the colonisation of the North Atlantic in a period of dramatic transformations.
2. The Late Iron Age and Early Norse activity on mound 2
3. The Early Norse activity on mound 2A (GA)
4. The Middle Norse house on mound 2 (BC)
4x. The Middle Norse transition phase on mound 2 (BD)
5. The Middle Norse activity on mound 2A
6. The Late Norse activity on mound 2
7. The Late Norse activity on mound 2A
8. The peripheral stratigraphic sequences (areas A, H, I and J)
9. The final occupation of the settlement
11. Comparative analysis of the site assemblage
"[A] very substantial new study […] The potential for understanding changes in communities and families from so much exhaustively detailed data is enormous, and already hinted at here." ~British Archaeology
"…a thorough and engaging book and the final planned volume in the series will undoubtedly be much anticipated." ~Antiquity