The broch was a bakery!

Posted by on Aug 23, 2017 in Uncategorized | No Comments
The broch was a bakery!

And here’s the evidence – a quern stone complete with charred grain. Or possibly a knocking stone for preparing grain for grinding. Either way, at the point when the building burned down, bannocks seem to have been in preparation.

The things people do for free!

Posted by on Aug 20, 2017 in Uncategorized | No Comments
The things people do for free!

You don’t need to be a professional archaeologist to make a really significant contribution to the excavation at Clachtoll broch. Indeed so far, some of the most interesting finds have been unearthed by volunteers. One of them, Roland Spencer-Jones said that one of the highlights of being involved in the project was, ‘finding evidence of […]

Evening lecture: Progress So Far…

Posted by on Aug 18, 2017 in Artefacts, Excavation, Public archaeology, Workshops | No Comments

The archaeological team will present an update on the project so far on Wednesday 30th August at 7.30pm, at Stoer Hall in Assynt. Come along to find out more about the work at the broch, the artefacts found and the latest ideas on the history of the broch.

Prehistoric Architecture: experimental corbelling workshops

How do corbelled cells stand up? Corbelling is a simple but ingenious technique used in the contruction of chambers and cells, found in prehistoric architecture from the Neolithic onwards. Brochs contain corbelled cells as part of their hollow-walled construction. We will be building our own corbelled cell next week at Clachtoll, to demonstrate the technique. […]

Highlights of a month of excavation

Posted by on Aug 10, 2017 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Today the archaeological team has been working at the broch for exactly a month, so I asked them what the highlights have been for them so far. While Nick said that just working on the broch at all is ‘epic’, Vanessa and I both felt that it’s been particularly exciting to watch the gradual exposure […]

Entering Clachtoll broch…

Posted by on Aug 9, 2017 in Excavation, Public archaeology | No Comments
Entering Clachtoll broch…

The rubble removal at the broch has now proceded to a level where the original entrance passage is clear, meaning the building can be accessed via the doorway for the first time since the tower collapsed, some time in the period 150 BC to AD 50. In this short video, Historic Assynt chair Gordon Sleight […]

The oldest member of the Clachtoll archaeology team

Posted by on Aug 4, 2017 in Excavation, Public archaeology | No Comments
The oldest member of the Clachtoll archaeology team

Meet Ug. He’s invisible, but he’s a key member of the team at the broch at Clachtoll. He is, indeed, the master mason, architect and muse of the lead archaeologist, John Barber. I find John in contemplative mood, gazing with wonder at the ruin, or the monument, as he refers to it, and as it […]

Who is that hiding in the rubble of Clachtoll broch?

Posted by on Jul 25, 2017 in Excavation, Public archaeology | No Comments
Who is that hiding in the rubble of Clachtoll broch?

As the stones come out from inside the broch, gradually the inner wall is revealed. Some other secrets are being uncovered as well. The wall is increasingly impressive, with its cleverly built voids to reduce the pressure on the lintels over chambers below. But leaning up against the southern side is some shambolic-looking stonework. This […]

Magic tricks with masonry at Clachtoll Broch

Posted by on Jul 22, 2017 in Excavation, Public archaeology | No Comments
Magic tricks with masonry at Clachtoll Broch

Back in the Iron Age, when the Clachtoll broch was lived in, magic was probably performed by itinerant smiths, conjuring bronze with a puff of smoke, or by wise old ladies, fixing broken bones with bundles of herbs. But these days, we get archaeologists to do the magic tricks. They’re good at it. When a […]

Archaeology gets going in earnest at Clachtoll Broch

Posted by on Jul 17, 2017 in Excavation, Public archaeology | No Comments
Archaeology gets going in earnest at Clachtoll Broch

The Iron Age broch at Clachtoll will be the focus of a major community archaeology project during July, August and September 2017, organised by Historic Assynt and with the professional archaeology work done by AOC Archaeology. The dig is open to the public, Monday to Saturday, 9-5,  from now until the end of September. Volunteers […]