25th to 29th March: New finds from Trench 2

Posted by admin on 07/04/2005 at 09:41 AM

Improved weather conditions have assisted the excavation of Trench 2 at the High Pastures site.  Several new finds have been recovered.

The excavation of Trench 2 at the High Pastures site has continued and good progress has been made.  Assisted by Ann and Mike Kibby, George and Steven are peeling back the layers of archaeology and have made some interesting finds.

A fine pebble hammer/grinder was recovered by George from a position close to the hearth setting in the W corner of Trench 2, while a piece of rock containing copper ore was also recovered from the excavated interior of the hearth.  The pebble hammer is manufactured from Torridonian Sandstone and is a wonderful tool that fits the hand well.  One end of the tool is heavily pitted from hammering, while the opposite end shows ground facets of unknown function.  Most coarse pebble tools recovered from the High Pastures site are made on sandstone blanks that have most likely been collected from the beach at Camas Malag (approx. 0.75km away to the South of the High Pastures site).  Pebbles collected from stream beds local to the site are heavily stained by peat deposits (almost black).

Figure 1.  Pebble hammer/grinder recovered from the hearth setting (Scale=15cm).

Other finds recovered include a piece of white quartz, which has had small flakes removed to make stone tools (a core), and a fragment of shale or jet bracelet (see image below).  The bracelet shows evidence of manufacture, with fine tooling marks evident on the outside face, and it is possible that this item has been imported into the site.

Figure 2.  Fragment of shale or jet bracelet from Trench 2 (Scale=cm).

Next entry: 17th April 2005: New finds from Trench 2

Previous entry: Finds from Trench 1, Bone Passage - September 2004

Posted by on 28/04/2005 at 08:13 AM

Hi Steven

Mike and I have been discussing the fragment of shale or jet bracelet shown above.  Do you think it could possibly have been made from coal imported from coal found in the Jurassic or Tertiary rocks of North Skye?  Deposits of coal are found from Glendale to Trotternish in addition to the one at Portree.

I know the coal is of inferior quality for modern use but where was Prehistoric human’s source come from?  Where do we have evidence of raw materials used in during this period? It may well have been brought in by sea-routes as we know the population traded effectively.

Any thoughts?

Ann and Mike

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