Tuesday, December 28, 2004


The Crannogs of Scotland: An Underwater Archaeology


Oxbow Books
by Nicholas Dixon

The Crannogs of Scotland: An Underwater Archaeology

There are over 30,000 lochs in Scotland and many of these, if not all, would have had one crannog at least (there are lochs with more than ten). This presents a tantalising and very appealing resource for underwater archaeologists.

This well-illustrated and interesting book examines the techniques developed by archaeologists to tackle these watery sites; it also attempts to answer the question of why people would go to so much trouble as to build an artificial island.

The sheer effort, not to mention danger, of such an exercise becomes very apparent here. Another mystery is why modern archaeological literature pays such little attention to these remarkable sites.

In addition to a series of case studies, Nicholas Dixon also discusses the problems of interpreting these sites which were constructed in the Iron Age and through the Middle Ages. He considers the types of finds that have been recovered, including large amounts of organic material such as wood, bone and plant remains.

Much of the book focuses on the longterm excavations of Oakbank Crannog on Loch Tay which have greatly contributed to our knowledge of the design, construction and, possibly, purpose of these challenging but hugely rewarding sites. 191p, 69 b/w illus, 30 col pls (Tempus 2004)

ISBN 075243151X. Paperback. Publishers price GB £17.99, Oxbow Price GB £16.00

Browse other Underwater Archaeology books.

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