Sconemac's Crannogs and &

Crannogs by Sconemac

The Aes Dana,
The People of The Water

Scone's Scottish and Celtic Internet Book

Scottish Highlands and Islands Partnership

"another page in my book"

This material is not public domain and as such must
not be taken from the site, without author's permission.

<B>Crannogs - the home of early Celts</H1>

The Kilmartin Valley, on the west coast of Scotland, is home to at least 150 prehistoric sites including carved rocks, standing stones, burial cairns and a fortress of the earliest Scottish kings.

It is here that Kilmartin House and Museum was set up in 1994 to create a centre for archaeology and landscape interpretation for the village of Kilmartin. Its aim is to answer questions such as: who were the early hunters, farmers and warriors? And why did they leave such rich remains? and What Are Those Wooded Round Things>"

Ancient Loch Dwelling

Crannogs are a type of ancient loch dwelling found throughout Scotland and Ireland. They were built out in the water as defensive homesteads, secure from potential invaders. People began living in these island homes as early as 5,000 years ago, and continued to do so up until the 17th century AD.

Here in the wooded heartland of Scotland, the prehistoric crannogs were originally timber-built roundhouses supported on piles driven into the lochbed. Today, they appear as tree-covered islands or remain hidden as submerged stony mounds.

Today, Reconstructing the Past

How were these offshore homes constructed? A team of underwater archaeologists carried out a unique experiment to find out, and rediscovered the secrets of ancient technology. No one has built a crannog like this for probably 2,000 years!

Hand-driving the massive piles into the lochbed, and wielding heavy crosspieces to brace the foundation framework for the platform that supported the house, demonstrated how strong and skilful the crannog builders must have been. How did they gain their understanding of crannog construction in the first place? At least the modern builders had the evidence from archaeological excavations to go by.

The multi-award-winning museum is spilt into six rooms, each focusing on a different theme - such as Time and Space, looking at how the Kilmartin landscape has changed over the years and Breaking the Earth, which explores the tools used by farmers in the ancient ages. The museum is crammed with original artifacts including axes, jewelery, bronze swords and musical instruments, gold animal forms, some of which you can touch or play. The museum also has an audio-visual presentation, book shop and cafe.

Nancy MacCorkill, F.S.A. Scot
Author, Poet
Historian of the Ancient Clans of Scotland



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