Under scrutiny: a rotary quern

Posted by on Oct 19, 2018 in Artefacts | No Comments

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 […]

More interesting finds at Clachtoll broch

Posted by on Jul 10, 2018 in Artefacts, Excavation | No Comments
More interesting finds at Clachtoll broch

The excavation of the ‘guard’ cell to the left of the entrance, between the broch walls, continues to produce really interesting finds, particularly coming out from the sieving of the gloopy material in the floor of the chamber. Under where the almost complete skeleton of a sheep was found was some slimy deposits – possibly […]

2018 Season Project Launch & Excavation Dates

2018 Season Project Launch & Excavation Dates

We’re delighted to be getting back to Clachtoll Broch soon for further excavations and consolidation work. Excavation dates: Monday 2nd July, 2pm-5pm Tuesday 3rd-Saturday 7th July and Monday 9th-Saturday 14th July, 9am-5pm As always, volunteers are invited to participate in work at the broch. No experience is required and we will provide all tools and […]

Fabulous Finds: the Artefact Assemblage

Posted by on Mar 30, 2018 in Artefacts, Excavation, Public archaeology | No Comments
Fabulous Finds: the Artefact Assemblage

“So, what have you found?” is surely the question most frequently asked by visitors to archaeological excavations. Artefacts help us piece together the story of those who came before, giving us little glimpses of past lives. 224 individual small finds were logged during excavations at Clachtoll, many of which comprised groups or clusters of ceramic […]

Within the walls: the Entrance Passage, Cells and Stairwell

Posted by on Mar 23, 2018 in Artefacts, Excavation, Public archaeology | No Comments
Within the walls: the Entrance Passage, Cells and Stairwell

Our posts so far have focussed on the broch’s interior, but now we turn our attention to the walls themselves and the features within. Intramural cells and galleries are characteristic of brochs, and Clachtoll displays a range of these. Excavating inside these cavernous spaces was quite an experience for archaeologists and volunteers alike, and you […]

Fire! Sampling Traces of the Broch’s Last Moments

Posted by on Mar 16, 2018 in Artefacts, Excavation, Public archaeology | No Comments
Fire! Sampling Traces of the Broch’s Last Moments

The occupation surfaces and hearth sequence described in our earlier posts were sealed by an event that seems likely to mark the end of significant occupation within the broch: a thick layer of charred debris covered nearly all of the interior. This debris contained a range of materials including large roundwoods, burnt heather and grasses […]

Fields of Barley: the Knocking Stone

Posted by on Mar 9, 2018 in Artefacts, Excavation, Public archaeology | No Comments
Fields of Barley: the Knocking Stone

In the north-east quadrant of the broch interior, immediately above the ‘souterrain’ structure (detailed here), a spread of compact brown-orange clay over roughly-set flagstones formed a floor into which a large igneous boulder had been set. This boulder was a mortar or ‘knocking stone’ with a central V-shaped hole c. 0.25m deep, used for threshing […]