Scratching the surface: residue analysis on ceramic and steatite vessels

Posted by on Dec 20, 2019 in Excavation, Public archaeology | No Comments
Scratching the surface: residue analysis on ceramic and steatite vessels

As part of the post-excavation analyses on the material retrieved during our excavations at Clachtoll, we arranged for analysis of a selection of potsherds and steatite vessels to determine whether absorbed organic residues were present. This can identify residues from food production, for example, helping us to gain a clearer picture of what people were […]

Stories of Lake Coring in Assynt and Coigach

Posted by on Nov 27, 2019 in Excavation | No Comments
Stories of Lake Coring in Assynt and Coigach

We’re delighted to share a guest post from Lou, a PhD student who has been carrying out research in Assynt. Her work will contribute to our understanding of the past environment at Clachtoll, helping us to build up a clearer picture of the landscape through the millennia. I’m Lou and I’m a student at Newcastle […]

Experimental Workshop: furnishing a broch

Get Involved! Experimental Archaeology Workshops, 1st to 5th July 2019 Next week we will be carrying out experiments into how the interior of the Clachtoll broch may have been floored. We will be making wicker panels of hazel and willow, similar to those likely to have formed the upper floors and internal galleries of the […]

Cell 2: A Mystery Solved!

Posted by on Apr 23, 2019 in Artefacts, Excavation, Uncategorized | No Comments

Today Jack and Dawn have been investigating some fragments of fired clay recovered from within Cell 2 of the broch. During excavation the presence of organic material was noted but it was unclear what this material was and how it had formed, and the function of the cell was unclear. As you can see from […]

A Movie from Forge Photography

Posted by on Jan 24, 2019 in Artefacts, Excavation, Public archaeology | No Comments

Many thanks to our friends at Forge Photography, who generously donated their services to make this wonderful documentary-style film about the project at the broch on behalf of Historic Assynt. Enjoy!  

Reaping the rewards

Posted by on Jan 22, 2019 in Artefacts | No Comments
Reaping the rewards

We may have finished our excavations at the broch, but post-excavation work continues. Conservator Bethan has been working on the reaping hooks. These were discovered along with lots of other iron tools in a discrete area of the broch, suggesting that all the tools were stored neatly in one place. They are badly corroded from […]

Under scrutiny: a rotary quern

Posted by on Oct 19, 2018 in Artefacts | No Comments
Under scrutiny: a rotary quern

Another peek behind the scenes at the post-excavation process and what it is revealing. This an upper rotary quern stone (below) made of a quartzite-rich sandstone was discovered during excavations at the broch in 2017. Fragments of at least nine quern stones were discovered during last year’s work. They were used for grinding grain: rotary […]

Shedding new light on the artefacts: RTI of the incised stone disc

Posted by on Oct 16, 2018 in Artefacts | No Comments

As exciting as it is to discover ancient artefacts during an excavation, our post-excavation team reveals all sorts of hidden secrets during their analyses. This stone disc (right) was found to have an incised spiral doodle decoration that was not visible until we cleaned it up back in the lab. If you click on the […]

Stone lamp – 3D model

Posted by on Oct 15, 2018 in Artefacts | No Comments

One of the most remarkable aspects of the assemblage of artefacts from Clachtoll broch is the number of stone lamps that were found. Many were very finely made, carved to create smooth cup-shaped vessels. Others were decorated with incised lines, creating geometric patterns on the outside and handles. The lamps would have burned tallow or […]

Pushing on with post-excavation analyses

Posted by on Oct 10, 2018 in Artefacts, Excavation, Public archaeology | No Comments

The final phase of excavations at Clachtoll may be over, but the post-excavation analyses are still in progress, with lots of careful scrutiny of the evidence to come before we can make any more solid interpretations about the construction, use and demise of the broch. Our post-excavation research design (PERD) sets out the way in […]