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 […]

Fire and Water: the Final Hearth and a Stone Tank

Posted by on Mar 2, 2018 in Artefacts, Excavation, Public archaeology | 4 Comments
Fire and Water: the Final Hearth and a Stone Tank

At the centre of the broch we excavated a series of three hearths lying one on top of another. As the second hearth (detailed in our earlier post) became unusable, it was levelled with a thick deposit of ash and rubble and a third hearth complex was built over the top. This was composed of […]

 Keep the Fires Burning: a Second Central Hearth

Posted by on Feb 23, 2018 in Artefacts, Excavation, Public archaeology | No Comments
 Keep the Fires Burning: a Second Central Hearth

One of our earlier posts focussed on the lowest – and earliest – of three hearths laid one of top of the other in the centre of the broch interior. In this post, we’ll look at the second of these hearths. The earliest hearth was covered over with mixed debris to level it before a […]

Going Underground: a Souterrain within a Broch?

Posted by on Feb 16, 2018 in Artefacts, Excavation, Public archaeology | One Comment
Going Underground: a Souterrain within a Broch?

In our last post we looked at the earliest hearth, found in the centre of the broch. Today we turn our attention to an unusual design feature: integral to the broch’s internal layout was a drystone-lined lower passage. This feature was formed by the bedrock shelf on one side (see earlier post for more on the […]

Early Days at Clachtoll

Posted by on Feb 9, 2018 in Artefacts, Excavation, Public archaeology | 3 Comments
Early Days at Clachtoll

Our previous post examined evidence for the construction of the broch. Today we move onto evidence relating to the earliest phase of occupation of the broch. At the centre of the broch were the remains of three successive hearths, layered on top of one another. The earliest surviving hearth had been constructed on a thin […]

The Beginnings of the Broch

The Beginnings of the Broch

In the summer of 2017, Historic Assynt and AOC Archaeology Group undertook a major programme of structural conservation and archaeological excavations at Clachtoll broch, Assynt. In a series of posts over the coming weeks, we’ll share with you the preliminary results of the excavations. Conservation works were concentrated on the south wall, an area previously […]