Tuesday, 6 October 2009

The Crannogs of Loch Tay

This is a reconstructed Crannog at the Scottish Crannog Centre. It's taken a number of years and lots of trial and error to build, but is a fantastic building. The guided tour is very informative and thought provoking.

First there's the slightly slippery log causeway to negotiate!

Inside it's amazingly spacious. Much of the interior layout is informed guesswork, which is then tried out using what is termed "experimental archaeology" - try it and see if it works. Current thinking is that both people and a small number of livestock lived on the Crannogs, and that the people who built these structures in the Iron Age were farmers as well as hunters and fishers. Probably they were built for defence against animals and marauders as there's evidence of drawbridge type structures on many of the submerged artefacts. There were several hundred Crannogs in use all over Scotland during the Iron and Bronze ages.

Our kayaking senses switched on at the sight of two log boats alongside the Crannog. These are reconstructions based on remains found in Loch Tay and elsewhere. Paddles have also been discovered which look amazingly modern in design, and a larger paddle which may have been used for steering, or in the same manner as a Stand Up paddle. The boats aren't just for show either - they work!

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