A Lake Dwelling in its Landscape: Iron Age settlement at Cults Loch, Castle Kennedy, Dumfries & Galloway [Hardback]

Graeme Cavers(Author); Anne Crone(Author)

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ISBN: 9781785703737 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Year of Publication: 2018 | 1st | Language: English 304p, H11.7 x W8.3, b/w and color
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A Lake Dwelling in its Landscape


Cults Loch, at Castle Kennedy in Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland, loch lies within a landscape rich in prehistoric cropmark sites and within the loch itself are two crannogs, one of which has been the focus of this study. A palisaded enclosure and a promontory fort on the shores of the loch have also been excavated. The Cults Loch crannog is only the second prehistoric site in Scotland to be dated by dendrochronology and analysis has revealed the very short duration of activity on the crannog in the middle of the 5th century BC. Bayesian analysis of the dating evidence from all the excavated sites has yielded a chronological sequence which suggests a dynamic and sequential settlement pattern across the landscape. The implications of this sequence for later prehistoric settlement throughout southwest Scotland are explored. The Cults Loch Landscape Project arose out of the Scottish Wetland Archaeology Programme (SWAP), the objective of which is to fully integrate the wetland archaeological resource of Scotland into the more mainstream narratives of ‘dryland’ archaeology. The Cults Loch project has sought to bridge this apparent divide between ‘wetland’ and ‘dryland’ by focusing on a wetland site, the crannog, which lies at the center of a prehistoric landscape, rather than being peripheral to it. Thus, the wealth of well-preserved evidence from the crannog, particularly the rich ecofactual assemblages, as well as the higher chronological resolution possible through the dendro-dating of waterlogged timbers, are brought to bear on our understanding of the evidence from the cropmark sites around the loch. The role and function of crannogs are also explored via the relationship between the crannog in Cults Loch and its social and physical landscape.

Table of Contents


1 Introduction
The research framework
The landscape setting; geology and hydrology
A history of previous archaeological investigations at cults loch
The community initiative
Note on site labels

2 Cults Loch 3; the promontory crannog
2a The structural sequence
Phase 1; construction of the crannog mound
Phase 2; structure 1
Phase 3; structure 2
Phase 3; deposits and structures in the n quadrant
Phase 4; structure 3
Phase 5; the decay horizon
Access onto the crannog
2b Chronology, by Anne Crone
Radiocarbon dating
Dendrochronological studies
14C wiggle-match dating and the structural sequence at Cults Loch 3, by Piotr Jacobsson, Derek Hamilton & Gordon Cook
2c ecofact analyses
Phase 1; the crannog mound
Phase 2; structure 1
Phase 3; structure 2
Phase 3; deposits and structures in the n quadrant
Phase 4; structure 3
Phase 5; the decay horizon
Deposits off the crannog mound
The macroplant assemblage, by Jackaline Robertson
Insect remains, by Enid Allison
Micromorphology, by Lynne Roy
2d the artefact assemblage
The wooden artefacts, by Anne Crone
The shale, by Fraser Hunter
The glass bead, by Fraser Hunter
The coarse stone, by Dawn McClaren
The chipped stone assemblage, by Rob Engl
The burnt clay, by Dawn McClaren
Synthesis of the material culture from Cults Loch 3, by Dawn McClaren
2e the structural timbers
2f summary of evidence for construction and occupation on Cults Loch 3

3 Cults Loch 4; the promontory fort
Aerial photography
Geophysical survey, by Tessa Poller
Excavation results
Environmental remains, by jackaline roberton
The form and function of the enclosure
Inland promontory forts

4 Cults Loch 5; the palisaded enclosure
Geophysical survey, by Tessa Poller & Graeme Cavers
Excavation results
Material culture, by Dawn McClaren
Environmental remains, by Jackaline Roberton
Cults loch 5; discussion

5 Cults Loch 2 and Cults Loch 6
Cults Loch 2; the knoll
Cults Loch 6; the pits

6 Radiocarbon dating and Bayesian modelling of Cults Loch 3, 4 and 5
Methodological approach, by Derek Hamilton & Tony Krus
Cults Loch 3; the crannog
Cults Loch 4; the promontory fort
Cults Loch 5; the palisaded enclosure

7 The material world of Iron Age Wigtownshire
Introduction, by Fraser Hunter, Dawn Mclaren & Gemma Cruickshanks
Luce sands
Material patterns
Iron and iron-working
Copper alloys and their manufacture
Decoration and adornment
Artefacts and society
The Roman world

8 The environment in and around Cults Loch
8a The offsite palaeoenvironmental programme, by Thierry Fonville, Tony Brown & Ciara Clarke
8b The on-site evidence for the environment around Cults Loch

9 Discussion
Cults Loch 3; chronology, form & functionality
The sites in their local and national context; the later prehistoric settlement record of Wigtownshire
Settlement development in the 1st millennium bc in southern scotland
The earlier Iron Age settlement landscape in SW Scotland
The Cults Loch landscape: settlement, duration and evolution 500–0 BC
Evidence for domestic architecture at Cults Loch

10 Conclusions


Reviews & Quotes

"“This publication shows how far the study of crannogs has advanced from Munro’s time. Far from being on a specialist periphery, crannogs and their material culture lie at the core of cultural contextualisation, from human response to the landscape to evidence for everyday life. The project’s strong community participation and outreach, from local volunteers to schools and Stranraer Museum, show how the (hi)stories of crannogs continue, impacting positively on lives today.” "

British Archaeology ()

"“The work reported in this volume is timely and important, for future ‘lake settlement’ research both in Scotland and Ireland. It is an invaluable contribution for anyone with interests in prehistoric lake settlements, methods and approaches in wetland archaeology, and the later prehistory of Scotland.” "

Prehistoric Society ()

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