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Excavation of an Iron Age, Early Historic and medieval settlement and metalworking site at Eilean Olabhat, North Uist

By Ian Armit, E. Campbell and A.J. Dunwell


noThe promontory site of Eilean Olabhat, North Uist was excavated between 1986 and 1990 as part of\ud the Loch Olabhat Research Project. It was shown to be a complex enclosed settlement and industrial\ud site with several distinct episodes of occupation. The earliest remains comprise a small Iron Age\ud building dating to the middle centuries of the first millennium BC, which was modified on several\ud occasions prior to its abandonment. Much later, the Early Historic remains comprise a small\ud cellular building, latterly used as a small workshop within which fine bronze and silverwork was\ud produced in the fifth to seventh centuries AD. Evidence of this activity is represented by quantities\ud of mould and crucible fragments as well as tuyère and other industrial waste products. The site\ud subsequently fell into decay for a second time prior to its medieval reoccupation probably in the\ud 14th to 16th centuries AD.\ud Eilean Olabhat has produced a well-stratified, though discontinuous, structural and artefactual\ud sequence from the mid-first millennium BC to the later second millennium AD, and has important\ud implications for ceramic development in the Western Isles over that period, as well as providing\ud significant evidence for the nature and social context of Early Historic metalworking

Topics: Iron Age; Metal-working; Eilean Olabhat, North Uist, Scotland
Year: 2008
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Provided by: Bradford Scholars
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