WA Coastal & Marine

Outer Hebrides Coastal Community Marine Archaeology Pilot Project
Year 2 Report

Ref: 79441.02

April 2013

OUTER HEBRIDES COASTAL COMMUNITY MARINE ARCHAEOLOGY PILOT PROJECT REPORT – YEAR 2
(2012-13)

Prepared by: WA Coastal & Marine 7-9 North St. David Street Edinburgh EH2 1AW

Prepared for: Historic Scotland Longmore House Salisbury Place Edinburgh EH9 1SH

Ref: 79441.02

April 2013

Wessex Archaeology Limited 2013 Registered Scottish Charity No. SC042630 and in England and Wales, No. 287786.

OHCCMAPP 2012-13 Report

OUTER HEBRIDES COASTAL COMMUNITY MARINE ARCHAEOLOGY PILOT PROJECT REPORT – YEAR 2
(2012-13)
79441.02

Title: Principal Author(s): Managed by: Origination date: Date of last revision: Version: Wessex Archaeology QA: Status: Summary of changes: Associated reports: Approval:

OHCCMAPP: Report Year 2 Dr Andrew Bicket, Dr Simon Davidson Dr Jonathan Benjamin July 2012 April 2013 02 JB Final Minor edits to content 79440.02 Philip Robertson (Historic Scotland)

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OHCCMAPP 2012-13 Report

OUTER HEBRIDES COASTAL COMMUNITY MARINE ARCHAEOLOGY PILOT PROJECT REPORT – YEAR 2
(2012-13)
79441.02

Summary This report summarises the OHCCMAPP activity undertaken during the 2012 summer field campaign and subsequent analysis during the autumn and winter 2012-13. Following on from the baseline data gathering, initial outreach and fieldwork of Year 1, some of the most promising leads were followed up during Year 2. Incorporating the three themes developed in Year 1: x Marine Resource Exploitation; x Maritime History and Transport; and, x Submerged Prehistory Potential. Field Investigations Six locations were investigated across South Uist, Grimsay, Harris, and Lewis, a total of 39 coastal and intertidal structures were recorded (Appendix I); the majority were previously unrecorded and requiring specialist field investigation and recording. In collaboration with RCAHMS, field recording of prehistoric and historic sites was undertaken at Stulaigh and Hartavagh, South Uist, accessible only by boat. The sites were investigated as a direct consequence of the outreach campaign undertaken in 2011 when the field team met J.J. McDonald of north Locheynort. Diving and snorkelling surveys were carried out at all sites except Stulaigh. At Locheynort, Grimsay and Harris, underwater surveys and local outreach were aimed at prospecting for and locating unrecorded structures and wrecks in the area. A number of yairs and causeways were located in the lower range of the intertidal zone, which were previously unrecorded. Reports of wrecks were received but ground trothing was not logistically feasible as they were located in open water. Underwater survey was undertaken at Lundale, Lewis on the fringes of Loch Roag. The inundated bog has substantial in situ remains of previous wooded land surfaces which have subsequently been inundated by blanket bog, and then by sea level rise. Peat was also recovered and dated at Hartavagh, South Uist. Remnants of Late Pleistocene peat deposits were recovered in the intertidal zone at Hartavagh indicating that palaeoenvironmental resources of significant age are present and well-preserved in the intertidal zone; in addition to mid-Holocene peats known from beaches and other submerged locations in the regions (e.g. Ritchie 1985). This provides scope for improving relative sea level models in the region and developing baselines relating to palaeogeography and early prehistory. A bespoke outreach activity was undertaken with the Seafishing community at Stornoway, Lewis to present the project and to gain an insight into the types of marine and maritime archaeology information accumulated by this group (Appendix IV). Considerable knowledge

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of the marine environment with relevance to cultural heritage exists, requiring a dedicated research effort. Whilst OHCCMAPP was being undertaken additional reports of material were made from outside the core study areas. With the project logistics in place it was possible to expand the resources and specialist staff to examine these reports in more detail. Significant early Mesolithic material was recovered from above, and below the waterline at Lub Dubh-Aird, Upper Loch Torridon following on from a community report and led by Prof. Karen Hardy. A historic wreck from Loch Laxford, West Sutherland was also reported to the project and will be examined as part of the SAMPHIRE (Scotland’s Atlantic Maritime Past: Heritage Investigation Research & Education) project, beginning 2013. By undertaking the pilot project it is clear that investigating the full-spectrum of the coastal zone is challenging but substantial resources exist for the investigation of marine resource exploitation. A very large resource of stone-built yairs and causeways are under-reported if at all from the study areas considered in OHCCMAPP, a key element to understanding the economy and subsistence strategy of post-medieval townships. The intertidal zone as a whole, changing across prehistory is also a key area of focus for investigating marine resource exploitation, but also submerged prehistory potential in the islands. Modelling has indicated that for at least the Neolithic and Mesolithic, the contemporary coastlines are now largely underwater or fully submerged. For example the remains at Northton, Harris may be the last remaining element of more extensive site or sites that have been inundated and eroded during the later Holocene. Palaeogeography modelling High-resolution LiDAR and multibeam bathymetry datasets were obtained for the Sound of Harris and northwest Lewis coast (including East Loch Roag). A series of palaeogeographical models have been produced, in lieu of sub-bottom geophysical surveys, which provide a means of prospecting for areas of submerged prehistoric potential. This is most valuable in the Sound of Harris where the topography seamlessly overlaps the modern coast. The Lewis multibeam datasets are located too far offshore to constrain current relative sea level models. Typically other geophysical survey datasets are of limited cultural heritage use as they of too coarse resolution or distance from the coast. By undertaking palaeogeographical modelling using freely-available datasets from the Sound of Harris the three themes of OHCCMAPP have been brought together for a number of prehistoric and historic scenarios including the Mesolithic, Early and Late Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age with an additional ‘Viking’ scenario. The development of the Sound of Harris as a largely terrestrial and intertidal landscape during the Mesolithic with a major seaway linking the Minch to the Atlantic along the Harris coastline provides an important parameter for considering the colonisation and exploitation of the Outer Hebrides from the earliest prehistory in the Islands. Events such as the breaching of Lake Agassiz within the context of global sea level change may have led to an inundation of coastal land but also an increase in the area of the intertidal zone as well as water-borne access into the landscape which may have benefitted early prehistoric groups. A major seaway by the Neolithic, the Sound of Harris lies at the edge of the prehistoric world but was linked to the wider maritime landscape (Garrow and Sturt 2011) and increasingly inhabited and developed by later prehistoric people. Potential exists within sheltered embayments and complex coastline configurations around the Sound of Harris for in situ palaeoenvironmental and perhaps archaeological remains from c. 7000 BC until at least the Bronze Age, and probably Iron Age (Appendix III).

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Recommendations By incorporating all the disparate elements from OHCCMAPP it is clear that multi-disciplinary working incorporating specialists above, at and below the water line provides the means to investigate the highly localised archaeological, geoarchaeological and historical remains that a given location might contain. Especially in remote locations, where the opportunity to deploy survey teams is rare or increasingly costly, a full-spectrum multidisciplinary team represents a cost-effective deployment. The logistical support provided by a small but reliable research vessel is a key but potentially expensive factor. Providing access to mainland and smaller island coasts and a platform for mounting or supporting diver, geotechnical and geophysical surveys, a support vessel facilitates a greater range of data-gathering. During OHCCMAPP field campaign, vessel support was provided by community members including local fishermen and fish farms. It is recommended that consideration of gaining access for archaeological and cultural heritage purposes during the downtime of publicly owned small craft or research grade vessels, maintained by institutions such as Marine Scotland, the BGS and others would provide a cost-effective means of expanding the capability of cultural heritage in the coastal and marine environment in Scotland. Incorporating a cultural heritage specification into the survey parameters of these vessels would also be beneficial for maximising the resolution and coverage of publically owned (or financed) geophysical data into areas of cultural heritage interest.

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OHCCMAPP 2012-13 Report

OUTER HEBRIDES COASTAL COMMUNITY MARINE ARCHAEOLOGY PILOT PROJECT REPORT – YEAR 2
(2012-13)
79441.02

Acknowledgements The support of various members of the communities of Grimsay, Locheynort, Stornoway, Manish and Lochboisdale greatly aided the project team in the field. Marine Harvest at Lochboisdale is thanked for logistical support and transport to and from Hartavagh. JJ McDonald is thanked for sharing his knowledge of the marine environment and transport to and from Stulaigh. His brother Alexander McDonald is thanked for assisting the dive team in Locheynort. Mairi Stewart is thanked for supporting the team at Grimsay. Dr Rob Lenfert is thanked for his time and expertise during the diving surveys. Prof Karen Hardy and Dr Torben Bjarke Ballin are thanked for supporting the work at Lub Dubh-Aird. Andrew Patrick is thanked for taking the time to examine the coast in detail, for uncovering a complex and rich archaeological site. Andrew and Carol are thanked for their field support in Upper Loch Torridon. Philip Robertson and Rod McCullough at Historic Scotland are thanked for supporting the radiocarbon dating assay and geophysical analyses and the project in general. All those who reported finds, sites and stories to OHCCMAPP are warmly thanked for providing a wealth of information. It was not possible to investigate every lead within the pilot project; we thank you for your time and knowledge. Data Licences NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION © Crown Copyright and/or database rights. Reproduced by permission of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office and the UK Hydrographic Office (www.ukho.gov.uk) (Appendix II, III, p50, p52, p55, p55, p56, p57, p60). Contains Garmin BlueChart data © 2013. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013. Contains RCAHMS data © Crown copyright 2013.

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OUTER HEBRIDES COASTAL COMMUNITY MARINE ARCHAEOLOGY PILOT PROJECT REPORT – YEAR 2
(2012-13)
79441.02

Contents List of Illustrations .........................................................................................................viii List of Tables .................................................................................................................. ix List of Photos .................................................................................................................. x INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................. 1 SCOPE OF THE 2012 OHCCMAPP ................................................................................... 1 FIELD SITES .................................................................................................................. 4 STULAIGH, SOUTH UIST (26 – 28TH JUNE 2012) ................................................................. 4 HARTAVAGH, SOUTH UIST (29TH JUNE – 1ST JULY 2012) .................................................... 5 Diver Survey (29th June – 1st July 2012) ......................................................................... 9 LOCHEYNORT, SOUTH UIST ............................................................................................. 11 Diver Survey (2nd July 2012) ......................................................................................... 11 KALLIN, GRIMSAY ........................................................................................................... 12 Coastal Survey (3rd July 2012) ...................................................................................... 12 MANISH, HARRIS ............................................................................................................ 13 Diver Survey (4th & 5th July 2012).................................................................................. 13 LUNDALE, LEWIS ............................................................................................................ 14 ASSOCIATED SITES: COMMUNITY REPORTS ........................................................ 18 UPPER LOCH TORRIDON – LUB DUBH-AIRD .................................................................... 18 Site Background ............................................................................................................ 18 LOCH LAXFORD .............................................................................................................. 21 THEMATIC ASSESSMENTS ....................................................................................... 23 INTERTIDAL STRUCTURES ............................................................................................... 23 Survey and Recording................................................................................................... 23 Yairs and their influence on geomorphology ................................................................. 25 Identifying parameters for surveying intertidal features ................................................ 27 Interpretation and Comparison...................................................................................... 28 LITHIC ARTEFACTS IN THE INTERTIDAL ZONE ................................................................... 31 Lub Dubh-Aird ............................................................................................................... 31 Assemblage taphonomy................................................................................................ 36 Inter-tidal geomorphology ............................................................................................. 36 Grimsay Flint ................................................................................................................. 37 THE GEOARCHAEOLOGY OF INTERTIDAL PEATS & SEDIMENTS......................................... 38 AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY & PHOTOGRAMMETRY ................................................................ 44 PROSPECTING FOR PALAEOLANDSCAPE POTENTIAL ........................................................ 47 Publicly-available Geophysical Datasets ...................................................................... 47 Data Management......................................................................................................... 49 Multibeam Bathymetry (SA7: Sound of Harris, SA16) .................................................. 49 Bathymetric LiDAR (SA7: Sound of Harris) ................................................................... 52

1. 1.1. 2. 2.1. 2.2. 2.3. 2.4. 2.5. 2.6. 3. 3.1. 3.2. 4. 4.1.

4.2.

4.3. 4.4. 4.5.

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Today ............................................................................................................................ 54 Mesolithic (c. 7000 BC) ................................................................................................. 57 Neolithic (c. 3800 & 2500 BC) ....................................................................................... 62 Bronze Age (c. 2000 BC) & Iron Age (c. 700 BC) ......................................................... 63 Viking (AD 800) ............................................................................................................. 63 4.6. AREAS OF POTENTIAL PALAEOLANDSCAPE PRESERVATION (APPENDIX III) ....................... 63 Context .......................................................................................................................... 63 Inundated platforms ...................................................................................................... 64 Inundated coastal plains ............................................................................................... 64 Inundated embayments ................................................................................................. 64 Inundated faults............................................................................................................. 65 Multibeam Bathymetry (SA16: East Loch Roag & West of Lewis) ................................ 66 5. CONCLUSIONS ............................................................................................................ 68 5.1. PROJECT AIMS & OBJECTIVES REVISITED ....................................................................... 68 Engagement .................................................................................................................. 68 Engagement into Practice ............................................................................................. 69 Enhancing Datasets ...................................................................................................... 69 Developing a Hebridean Model & Site Prospection ...................................................... 69 Developing Methodologies ............................................................................................ 69 Informing Cultural Heritage Management ..................................................................... 70 5.2. NEXT STEPS ................................................................................................................... 70 6. RECOMMENDATIONS ................................................................................................. 71 7. REFERENCES.............................................................................................................. 72 APPENDIX I: GAZETTEER ................................................................................................... 75 GAZETTEER OF CULTURAL HERITAGE FEATURES OF INTEREST (OHCCMAPP 2012) ................ 75 Stulaigh ......................................................................................................................... 75 Hartavagh...................................................................................................................... 75 Grimsay ......................................................................................................................... 76 Locheynort, South Uist .................................................................................................. 76 Lundale, Lewis .............................................................................................................. 77 APPENDIX II: PALAEOGEOGRAPHICAL RECONSTRUCTIONS ...................................... 78 APPENDIX III: AREAS OF POTENTIAL PALAEOLANDSCAPE PRESERVATION IN THE SOUND OF HARRIS .............................................................................................................. 79 APPENDIX IV: ENGAGEMENT WITH THE FISHING INDUSTRY: SCOPING REPORT ..... 80

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List of Illustrations Figure 1: Field plan of Stulaigh farmstead, South Uist, July 2012. The rocky coast lies in the northwest corner of the plan (RCAHMS Crown Copyright 2012). ............................................ 5 Figure 2: Field Plan of southern quadrant of Hartavagh inlet, July 2012 (RCAHMS Crown Copyright 2012). The large yair in the west of the drawing was examined during the geotechnical survey of the inlet and is thought to be contemporary with at least one phase of occupation at the site. .............................................................................................................. 6 Figure 3: Borehole locations in the Hartavagh intertidal zone. Transect 2 and 3 are characterised by less than half a metre of marine mud overlying bedrock. Submerged peat deposits were recovered from Transect 1. Coordinate grid is in BNG (WA Coastal & Marine 2011). ....................................................................................................................................... 9 Figure 4: Georeferenced AP of Hartavagh inlet. Nine dry-stone structures are visible in the intertidal zone. Elevations relative to mOD highlight the marked differences in elevation between groups of structures. The vertical offset between the dark blue and dark red features is around 2m. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 201323 Figure 5: Elevation (mOD) of intertidal features at Hartavagh, South Uist. Location of topographic transects A-A’ (westernmost transect) and B-B’ (easternmost transect) are marked. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013 ........ 24 Figure 6: Topographic cross-section (A-A’) across yair Hartavagh 8 (at 5m) and intertidal walls at 45 and 50 m, respectively. Vertical scale corrected to OD at Newlyn, Cornwall. ...... 25 Figure 7: Topographic cross-section (B-B’) across intertidal wall feature Hartavagh 9 (at 105m). Vertical scale corrected to OD at Newlyn, Cornwall. .................................................. 25 Figure 8: Elevation (mOD) of yair structure at Stulaigh, South Uist. Location of topographic transect C-C’ is marked. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013 ............................................................................................................................... 26 Figure 9: Topographic cross-section (C-C’) across yair Stulaigh North. The yair is at 20m. Vertical scale corrected to OD at Newlyn, Cornwall. .............................................................. 27 Figure 10: Summary of selected surveys of intertidal wall structures relative to OD with local tidal ranges. Average elevations of all survey points for each structure are indicated by the data points; vertical error bars depict the standard deviation of the mean elevation. Data from the Scilly Isles is included for comparison. ............................................................................. 28 Figure 11: Schematic cross-section of Lub Dubh-Aird beach and intertidal zone indicating taphonomic pathway for lithic artefacts to enter the intertidal zone. Simplified core sections highlighting extant beach sand (orange) overlying lagoon silty clays (grey) are indicated. .... 36 Figure 12: Reported flint raw material from the intertidal zone at Kallin, Grimsay (© WA Coastal & Marine 2011, ©Getmapping 2011). ....................................................................... 37 Figure 13: Borehole locations at Hartavagh (Photo: WA Coastal & Marine 2011). ................ 38 Figure 14: Core profile of Transect 1 at Hartavagh. Core 1-7 is probably related to the inundated course of a freshwater stream that enters the inlet in the southeast. Blue circles denote radiocarbon samples in Core 1-4. The vertical scale accompanying TR1-4 denotes downcore depth and elevation (mOD) in parentheses). ......................................................... 39 Figure 15: Dated buried peats from the Hartavagh core with relative sea level models (redrawn from Shennan et al. 2006): sea level index points from the Hebrides, green crosses, and sea level limiting points, red crosses. .............................................................................. 42 Figure 16: Inferred palaeo-shorelines based on general local bathymetry relative to borehole survey containing the dated peats within the Hartavagh inlet (Table 8). Sample location is highlighted (brown circle) (Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013; Contains data from Garmin BlueChart © 2013). .................................................. 43 Figure 17: Still of a 3D photogrammetry model of the River Balgy terraces in Upper Loch Torridon, looking south (made using Autodesk 123D Catch). ................................................ 46 Figure 18: Bathymetry datasets assessed by WA C&M. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013 .............................................................................. 48

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Figure 19: Preliminary multibeam bathymetry for Sound of Harris palaeogeographic test model, c. 8000 BP. Northton is shown by the green circle. The dashed line indicates current MLWS; Green zone in the bathymetry dataset indicates terrestrial land above MHWS; the orange zone indicates the intertidal zone based upon RSL of -10m (Shennan et al. 2006); the Yellow zone indicates RSL at -20m based on Lambeck (1993), without a tidal range; the blue zone indicates bathymetry greater than -20m OD. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013 ......................................................................................... 50 Figure 20: Interpreted palaeogeographic model for the Sound of Harris c. 8000 BP in the vicinity of Northton, Harris. See the legend of Figure 19 for details. The purple outline indicates the interpreted extent of the intertidal zone. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013 .............................................................................. 52 Figure 21: RSL models for prehistoric palaeogeography in the Sound of Harris. The trend line is a second order polynomial function, error bars highlight the 5m tidal range incorporated into the models. ...................................................................................................................... 54 Figure 22: Selected areas highlighting the representation of the modern configuration of the Sound of Harris. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013 ....................................................................................................................................... 55 Figure 23: Northeast Ensay, the distribution of the modern coast and the modelled (HAT/LAT) intertidal zone agree well at the edge of the model. Some occlusions, gaps in the data exist. The resolution of the data is sufficient to record coastal dunes, dykes and other linear boundaries on Ensay. The merging of the multibeam sonar and LiDAR datasets is visible in the upper right of the image, due to differences between the cell-size resolutions in the rasters (Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013).. 55 Figure 24: Dun Innisgall in its present day context; a small islet within intertidal zone at Carminish, Harris (Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013). ..................................................................................................................................... 56 Figure 25: Modelled coastal geomorphology at Taraloch (Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013). ........................................................................... 57 Figure 26: Calibrated radiocarbon dates (2ı) from submerged and intertidal peats Pabbay, Sound of Harris (Ritchie 1985) (IntCal 09, OxCal 4.1). .......................................................... 58 Figure 27: Calibrated radiocarbon date envelopes from submerged and intertidal peats Pabbay, Sound of Harris vs. Depth (Ritchie 1985) (IntCal 09, OxCal 4.1). ............................ 58 Figure 28: Fault topography in southeast of the Sound of Harris (Mesolithic B scenario). Dashed black line represents modern coastline. Note the complex networks of islands and intertidal areas linked by narrow seaways; providing considerable coastal resources and accessibility by boat (Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013). ..................................................................................................................................... 60 Figure 29: Lewis combined multibeam bathymetry (Marine Scotland / BGS). Vertical scale refers only to Lewis multibeam, not Sound of Harris coverage. Yellow, orange and red zones overlap with the Mesolithic B model from the Sound of Harris (Northton site is marked). SRTM dataset: Jarvis A., H.I. Reuter, A. Nelson, E. Guevara, 2008, Hole-filled seamless SRTM data V4, International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), available from http://srtm.csi.cgiar.org. .......................................................................................................... 66 Figure 30: Extent of multibeam bathymetry dataset of East Loch Roag within the parameters of model Mesolithic B (low-tide c 10.5m OD) (orange dot within larger red zone), c. 15x15m). Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013, (data supplied by Marine Scotland 2013) ...................................................................................................... 67

List of Tables Table 2: Casualties from Loch Laxford, dating to c.19th Century. ........................................... 21

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Table 3: Proposed parameters underpinning the cataloguing and assessment of intertidal structures. ............................................................................................................................... 27 Table 4: Summary of Community-gathered lithics from Lub Dubh-Aird (Ballin 2012) ............ 32 Table 5: Summary of flint artefacts recovered from gridded survey (Ballin 2012). ................. 33 Table 6: Summary of lithic analysis from test pitting campaign (Ballin 2012)......................... 33 Table 7: Summary of lithic artefacts recovered from LDA sites 1 – 4 (Hardy et al. 2012). ..... 34 Table 8: AMS radiocarbon dates from the buried peat at Hartavagh, South Uist indicating early Holocene dates for the accumulation of the peat. ......................................................... 40 Table 9: Major locations photographed during aerial survey to Upper Loch Torridon with RCAHMS (25/07/2012). ......................................................................................................... 44 Table 10: Photogrammetry models produced in 2012............................................................ 45 Table 11: Parameters used within Sound of Harris test palaeogeography model and........... 49 Table 12: Parameters used for palaeogeography models for periods outlined in Table 13 ... 53 Table 13: Palaeogeography parameters for selected archaeological periods........................ 53 List of Photos Photo 1: Stulaigh environs (A. Bicket 2012). ............................................................................ 4 Photo 2: Panorama of Stulaigh yair environs, the incoming tide reaches far up the streambed. The remains of the yair are visible beneath seaweed to the left of centre (A. Bicket 2012). ............................................................................................................................ 5 Photo 3: Hartavagh inlet on the rising tide. The sea lies beyond the campsite to the right of shot; Eilean Dubh is the larger of the two islets in the middle distance in the intertidal zone (A. Bicket 2012, made using AutoStitch.net). ........................................................................... 6 Photo 4: Panoramic view from RCAHMS survey base station looking NE. Coring site is located in the open area of marine mud between the white house ruin and the islets (A. Bicket 2012, made using AutoStitch.net). ................................................................................ 7 Photo 5: intertidal stone-built structure (WA 79441_10) in northeast Locheynort, South Uist, July 2012 which was identified from APs in the first year of OHCCMAPP (WA Coastal & Marine 2012). ......................................................................................................................... 11 Photo 6: Panoramic view of a boat naust at Locheynort (J. Benjamin 2012). ........................ 11 Photo 7: Coastal survey at Grimsay (J. Benjamin 2012). ....................................................... 12 Photo 8: Community finds of ceramics and a hammer stone (left) recovered from foundation cutting for house construction in southeast Grimsay, (right) recovered form eroding hillock behind post office at Benbecula Airport (J. Benjamin 2012)................................................... 13 Photo 9: Panorama of intertidal inlet Ob Leasaid, Manish, Harris, surveyed by divers (J. Benjamin 2012). ..................................................................................................................... 14 Photo 10: Aerial photograph of Lundale (looking west) taken during 2011 OHCCMAPP campaign. The surveyed area is the isolated basin to the left of shot (J. Benjamin 2011). The arrow indicates the eroding peat horizon containing prehistoric wood. .................................. 15 Photo 11: Fieldwork at Lundale. Truncated peat deposits, snorkel survey, and auger sampling next to a possible causeway or yair, respectively (J. McCarthy 2012).................... 16 Photo 12: Aerial Photograph of Lub Dubh-Aird, Upper Loch Torridon at mid-tide, looking southeast (photo: J. Benjamin 2012). The main implementiferous cove is in the lower right next to the end of the road. .................................................................................................... 18 Photo 13: Low tide at Lub Dubh-Aird (April 2012, photo: J. Benjamin 2012). The investigation of this site reflects work that was carried out in collaboration and resource sharing with Prof. Hardy who is Principal Investigator at Lub Dubh-Aird. ........................................................... 19 Photo 14: Selected worked lithics from Lub Dubh-Aird (Courtesy of K. Hardy 2012) ............ 20 Photo 15: Panorama of Northton, Harris looking west – east; Toe-head to the left, the mountains of Harris to the right. Note the rocky coastal geology overlain by veneers of glacial till, Holocene sand and peat. The shallow nearshore waters would have provided a wider coastal fringe during around c. 6500 BC (WA C&M 2011, made using AutoStitch.net). ........ 61

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OUTER HEBRIDES COASTAL COMMUNITY MARINE ARCHAEOLOGY PROJECT REPORT – YEAR 2
(2012-13)
79441.02 1. 1.1. 1.1.1. INTRODUCTION SCOPE OF THE 2012 OHCCMAPP Following on from the baseline data gathering, initial outreach and fieldwork of Year 1, some of the most promising leads were followed up during Year 2. Incorporating the three themes developed in Year 1: x x x 1.1.2. Marine Resource Exploitation; Maritime History and Transport; and, Submerged Prehistory Potential.

The objectives were to: x engage with the local community through existing and newly formed knowledge networks, friendships and contacts, public lectures and media interviews in order to access a living and finite knowledge base; assess the results from this engagement process and apply them to further field investigation; focus on under-represented areas, particularly the east coasts of the archipelago (i.e. complementing SCAPE’s previous work with a focus on the seabed and shorelines that remain un-surveyed); enhance local and national datasets; through the addition of new sites and enhancement of records of existing sites located across the coastal, intertidal and marine zones; begin to establish a model for site discovery in the marine environment of the Outer Hebrides; identify specific locations for future study which would use investigative techniques such as marine geophysics, geotechnical (coring) assessment and archaeological diving; help inform future management of the Outer Hebrides’ marine environment.

x x

x

x x x 1.1.3.

Six locations were investigated across South Uist, Grimsay, Harris, and Lewis, in collaboration with RCAHMS staff Dr Alex Hale, George Geddes and Kevin Grant, and Dr Robert Lenfert. A total of 39 coastal and intertidal structures were recorded this year (Appendix I); the majority were previously unrecorded and required specialist field investigation and recording.

1.1.4.

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OHCCMAPP 2012-13 Report

1.1.5.

Additional fieldwork was undertaken in Upper Loch Torridon to investigate reports of underwater Mesolithic material, led by Prof. Karen Hardy. A further aerial photography campaign was undertaken to gather resources for future research and site prospection. Available bathymetry datasets were obtained for the Sound of Harris and west Lewis coasts to investigate palaeogeography scenarios for prehistory and historic periods in the Islands (Appendix II) and areas of interest for prospecting for submerged prehistory (Appendix III).

1.1.6.

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FIELD SITES

Manish, Harris, July 2012 (WA Coastal & Marine 2012)

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2. 2.1. 2.1.1.

FIELD SITES STULAIGH, SOUTH UIST (26 – 28TH JUNE 2012) Access to Stulaigh, an abandoned farmstead, was made by sea courtesy of JJ McDonald of Locheynort. Access was made on an open plateau above the sea cliffs to the east of the 1st and 2nd Edition OS mapped extent of the Stulaigh farmstead (Photo 1). Four sites were recorded in the field for the first time during the OHCCMAPP survey (Appendix I).

Photo 1: Stulaigh environs (A. Bicket 2012).

2.1.2.

The environs of the site are generally constrained by uplands on the south, west, and north and by a small river running eastward on the north-most side of the valley. At the head of this small river is a large yair which is quite clearly defined in plan. A further, smaller yair is located at the base of the cliffs below the main area of buildings at Stulaigh in what appears to be a relict stream channel. The stonework is arranged at a break of slope at the northwest edge of the cove, Caolas Stulaigh. The farmstead itself consists of a series of dry-stone buildings which have developed between the 1st and 2nd edition OS maps with further developments postdating these records. The buildings are concentrated towards the cliff-side with a large sheepfold occupying the plateaux directly above the cliff. Byres, cottages and storehouses are inferred uses for the remaining buildings and through discussions with JJ McDonald, who knew the occupants of the farmstead, the extended McFarlane family of shepherds and fishermen prior to abandonment in the early 20th century, sometime after 19111. The rest of the valley is divided into an array of field plots with relatively clearly preserved boundaries and traces of rig and furrow / feanichan, bisected by a small stream running through the middle of the valley. A series of drains have been cut across the cultivated land which are quite clearly visible today. Detailed mapping at 1:500 was undertaken by RCAHMS using plane table and SelfReducing Alidade (SRA) with additional survey undertaken using dGPS, especially recording of the yairs and their immediate surroundings (Figure 1).

2.1.3.

2.1.4.

2.1.5.

2.1.6.

1

http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/126011/details/south+uist+kyles+stuley/ 11/04/2013).

(last

accessed

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OHCCMAPP 2012-13 Report

Figure 1: Field plan of Stulaigh farmstead, South Uist, July 2012. The rocky coast lies in the northwest corner of the plan (RCAHMS Crown Copyright 2012).

2.1.7.

A series of measurements on the larger northern yair (CANMORE ID# 319226) at Bagh Na Cairidh Moire were made by dGPS (Photo 2) (access with the survey equipment to the smaller feature (ID# 319225) was hampered due to poor weather). A plan, topographic cross-section and spot heights of believed-to-be in situ wall elements were made as well as the position of the tide (Photo 2).

Photo 2: Panorama of Stulaigh yair environs, the incoming tide reaches far up the streambed. The remains of the yair are visible beneath seaweed to the left of centre (A. Bicket 2012).

2.2. 2.2.1.

HARTAVAGH, SOUTH UIST (29TH JUNE – 1ST JULY 2012) Following the identification of several intertidal structures during the initial phase of OHCCMAPP, some of which may be yairs or causeways, the site was targeted for further investigation. 20 features were recorded for the first time during the OHCCMAPP survey and have been archived within CANMORE (Appendix I).

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2.2.2.

Hartavagh is a small inlet south of Lochboisdale with a cluster of post-medieval buildings located around a small intertidal basin containing several islets within a small valley orientated SW-NE (Photo 3). Several other infilled (by blanket peat) valleys and freshwater lochs are located to the southeast and southwest, respectively.

Photo 3: Hartavagh inlet on the rising tide. The sea lies beyond the campsite to the right of shot; Eilean Dubh is the larger of the two islets in the middle distance in the intertidal zone (A. Bicket 2012, made using AutoStitch.net).

2.2.3.

Access to Hartavagh was made by boat from Lochboisdale courtesy of Marine Harvest. On the vessel the team met Norman McIsaac whose grandfather’s croft is located in the area. The team was deposited on a gravel beach on the eastern side of the inlet, just north of Eilean Dubh.

Figure 2: Field Plan of southern quadrant of Hartavagh inlet, July 2012 (RCAHMS Crown Copyright 2012). The large yair in the west of the drawing was examined during the geotechnical survey of the inlet and is thought to be contemporary with at least one phase of occupation at the site.

2.2.4.

A recent fire appeared to have cleared much of the low scrub from the southeastern side of the inlet making access and visibility preferentially possible there.

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2.2.5.

With diving capability added to this part of the fieldwork an inter-disciplinary investigation was undertaken over the course of 3 days. RCAHMS worked to record the extant buildings, visible cultivation and other aspects of the onshore and intertidal landscape. The valley is reportedly divided into at least 6 crofts one of which is owned by the father of one of the Marine Harvest staff. Several 17/18th century “blackhouses” and 19th century “whitehouses” were identified by RCAHMS forming the basis of their terrestrial survey. The footings of a bridge and a revetted wall supported the cart track which runs around the fringes of the inlet and appears to head off north towards Lochboisdale. What appeared to be a small boulder-built quay and other intertidal walls are visible near to the clustered buildings on the southwest shore as well as at least four yairs. Evidence for extensive management of field systems, peat cuttings and modern fish farming is also prevalent within the valley. Two possible prehistoric hut circles were identified during the survey. One on the southeastern ridge of the valley which overlooks a wide, peat-infilled valley with evidence for a small stream draining towards Loch Moraidh to the south. Another potential prehistoric hut circle overlooks Loch Moraidh to the south of the Hartavagh inlet. This may indicate that the peat-filled valley between Hartavagh and Loch Moraidh was a focus of prehistoric activity, of currently indeterminate age. Evidence of contemporary landuse may be preserved under the blanket peat in the valley floor. RCAHMS also identified a possible field boundary within the intertidal zone on the seaward flank of the smaller islet adjacent to Eilean Dubh (Photo 4). Palaeoenvironmental survey of the intertidal zone was made by hand auger along three transects (Figure 3). Coring at the highest point of the inlet adjacent to the RCAHMS base-station identified an inundated peat horizon at c. 0.5m depth overlain by marine mud and sand. dGPS survey of all intertidal structures within the inlet was undertaken to identify the archaeological and palaeolandscape context of this peat which may be later prehistoric or younger in date. This peat horizon also provides a sea-level index point. Samples of the upper peats were retrieved for radiocarbon dating.

2.2.6.

2.2.7. 2.2.8.

2.2.9.

Photo 4: Panoramic view from RCAHMS survey base station looking NE. Coring site is located in the open area of marine mud between the white house ruin and the islets (A. Bicket 2012, made using AutoStitch.net).

2.2.10. dGPS survey was made of the exposed yairs and intertidal structures and coring locations. In conjunction with the Stulaigh survey data it is possible to begin compiling a database of intertidal features relative to a standard datum which may facilitate analysis of preferred location in the tidal range, a basic relative dating tool (in conjunction with detailed chronological understanding of the associated settlements) and identification of walls vs. yairs. In some cases it may be possible to

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identify functionally different elements with detailed survey of intertidal and terrestrial zones. At Hartavagh there does appear to be groupings in elevation of discrete intertidal structures. The curvilinear yairs group at around -1m to -1.7m OD, whereas the other linear structures in the intertidal zone are at graduate between -0.3m to 1.7m OD. 2.2.11. dGPS survey was made of the exposed yairs and intertidal structures and coring locations. In conjunction with the Stulaigh survey data it is possible to begin compiling a database of intertidal features relative to a standard datum which may facilitate analysis of preferred location in the tidal range, a basic relative dating tool (in conjunction with detailed chronological understanding of the associated settlements) and identification of walls vs. yairs. In some cases it may be possible to identify functionally different elements with detailed survey of intertidal and terrestrial zones. At Hartavagh there does appear to be groupings in elevation of discrete intertidal structures. The curvilinear yairs group at around -1m to -1.7m OD, whereas the other linear structures in the intertidal zone are at graduate between -0.3m to 1.7m OD.

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Figure 3: Borehole locations in the Hartavagh intertidal zone. Transect 2 and 3 are characterised by less than half a metre of marine mud overlying bedrock. Submerged peat deposits were recovered from Transect 1. Coordinate grid is in BNG (WA Coastal & Marine 2011).

2.2.12. Assuming a relationship to mean sea level is meaningful for assessing the functionality of yairs the hypothesis that structures at or above OD within Hartavagh are walls, causeways or boundaries rather than yairs. Dating of the structures is not directly possible – no in situ sediments or material was recovered during augering that could permit chronometric dating. Diver Survey (29th June – 1st July 2012) 2.2.13. Afternoon dives at a high tide by John McCarthy (JM) and Robert Lenfert (RL) on day one and RL and Jonathan Benjamin (JB) on day two. RCAHMS team identified onshore buildings to survey and record. Photography and general survey of the intertidal features, all of which are stone-built lines which are either causeways or fishtraps. Only very limited material is present in the sub-tidal area, finds consist entirely of modern debris, which includes some metal and ceramic objects. No

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objects of historic value/interest were encountered. Conditions were generally very good, with visibility between 5-15 metres at all times. No major currents or hazards encountered. Heavy seaweed cover, especially near shore (and on the large stones), makes for some difficulty identifying any material present on or under the seabed. Marine sediments were stony and or gravel near shore, with marine silt filling the basin around the island (Eilean Dubh) in the centre of the head of the inlet. Some scoured bedrock is also present. A freshwater burn may be contributing to the sedimentation of the inlet. There is abundant sea life, especially crab and seals present. Underwater survey was completed and the area has been covered. No visible evidence for submerged peat, although intertidal coring did confirm there is some potential for it to exist under the marine silts; there is confirmed peat deposits in the intertidal zone that exist below the low water mark. The intertidal is characterised by peat deposits and/or (predominantly) bedrock below marine deposits. At the western end of the intertidal zone of the inlet, the marine deposits are exposed at low tide over a wide area; some of this overlies intertidal peat, including at least one core taken near the ‘white house’ on the eastern side of the inlet. Water temperature was 10C. Snorkel survey did not produce results other than to investigate the linear features identified by aerial surveys. Photographs were taken of the underwater stone rows. In total 2 dives and two snorkel surveys were conducted from the head of the inlet to the small cove on the western side of the inlet, near the narrows that separate the sheltered environment with the open loch and Minch. The team was transferred back to Lochboisdale by Marine Harvest and during the return leg the RCAHMS team made a brief visit to Castle Calvay2 at the head of Lochboisdale and completed a photographic survey.

2

http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/10130/details/south+uist+calvay+castle+calvay/ (last accessed 17/07/2012)

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2.3. 2.3.1.

LOCHEYNORT, SOUTH UIST Four intertidal features (probably causeways) linking smaller islets to the coast were recorded during the survey at Locheynort (Appendix I: Gazetteer). One was previously identified from APs in Year 1 (WA 79441_10). Diver Survey (2nd July 2012)

Photo 5: intertidal stone-built structure (WA 79441_10) in northeast Locheynort, South Uist, July 2012 which was identified from APs in the first year of OHCCMAPP (WA Coastal & Marine 2012).

2.3.2.

The WA Coastal & Marine dive team continued their fieldwork with a transfer to Locheynort. Upon arrival they made contact with Alexander McDonald, whose father, Donald McDonald was born in 1898 in South Loch Boisdale, raised his family in North Locheynort where they now hold three homes and practice small-scale farming and fishing (Photo 6).

Photo 6: Panoramic view of a boat naust at Locheynort (J. Benjamin 2012).

2.3.3.

A walkover survey of the northern part of Locheynort from the end of the public road to the northern side. A number of tidal features were noted, mainly stone walls. Some features have previously been recorded in the From Mountains to Machair survey (Moreland 2012), e.g. WA_79441_8 = 194, perhaps indicating that the study area was surveyed at a high tide in 1988. In the afternoon Alexander McDonald transferred the team to Sloc Dubh at the sheltered NE limit of Locheynort in his own

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fishing boat. The team transferred to the shore and undertook a scuba survey of part of the loch edge. The depth was approximately 1-3.5 metres and the seabed was found to consist of loose soft marine sediments. The edge of the loch was heavily covered in seaweed and visibility was further reduced by the curiosity of the abundant local seal population. The conditions for archaeological survey were highly limited and no further dives were undertaken. Upon return to the village an extensive snorkel survey was undertaken of the area to test for the possible presence of features relating to the post-medieval harbour believed to be in the area around Sloc Dubh (Moreland 2012). The seabed consisted of soft sediments across the centre of the loch with loose boulders and seaweed along the margins. The depth in the centre of the channel meant that the seabed could not be clearly seen. No features of cultural heritage interest were noted. Further scuba survey in this area is recommended only after establishing sediment and/or possible marine geophysics interpretation to evaluate the presence of features or seabed composition. 2.4. KALLIN, GRIMSAY Coastal Survey (3rd July 2012) The team transferred to Kallin, Grimsay and made contact with local resident, Marie Stewart who has been involved in amateur archaeological projects. Three possible lithics were given to the survey team by Marie for further analysis. A walkover survey of the harbour area at Grimsay was undertaken and a number of fish traps/causeways were recorded with GPS and photography (Photo 7). At the lower limit of the intertidal zone these features do not appear on the 2005 Coastal Zone Assessment of Grimsay (SCAPE 2005) probably due to a high tide during the survey.

2.4.1.

Photo 7: Coastal survey at Grimsay (J. Benjamin 2012).

2.4.2.

The findspot of the possible lithics was also visited. At the end of the walkover the team visited a local fisherman, Ian Macaskill, who had recovered numerous pieces

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OHCCMAPP 2012-13 Report

of prehistoric pottery and lithics from two sites in the local area (Photo 8). These included decorated prehistoric pot sherds including rims and bases and a number of probable hammer stones. A photographic record of the material was made and the location of the findspots was recorded (Figure A1.4). Local residents were encouraged to report their findings to Treasure Trove Scotland. The team made their way to the Bernera ferry and transferred to South Harris.

Photo 8: Community finds of ceramics and a hammer stone (left) recovered from foundation cutting for house construction in southeast Grimsay, (right) recovered form eroding hillock behind post office at Benbecula Airport (J. Benjamin 2012).

2.5. 2.5.1.

MANISH, HARRIS The team camped at the next survey site at Manish and made contact with a local landowner Ian McDonald. He reported the presence of a nearby unrecorded wreck. This was first discovered by his parents and is believed to have been a coal-carrying ship. The wreck is believed to be fully submerged at low tide but in relatively shallow water just to the south of a tidally exposed rock marked as ‘Sgoan’ on the 1:10,000 Ordnance Survey maps. Ian McDonald reported that locals had been able to salvage coal from the wreck. Although the weather was very calm, no survey was made of the reported shipwreck as it lay in open water and the scale of the dive operation did not permit for diving deeper than 10 metres or diving in exposed locations outside sheltered, benign conditions due to Health and Safety constraints. Diver Survey (4th & 5th July 2012) A snorkel survey was made of the inlet at Manish, Ob Leasaid (Photo 9). The initial plan had been to undertake a series of transects across the bay but it was found that even at low tide the very centre of the inlet was too deep to see. Instead a survey was made of the edges of the inlet and the shallower areas where gravel banks and rock outcrops reduced the depth. Survey was concentrated on the areas in front of the visible traces of post-medieval settlement on the shoreline. A large body of modern material was noted, particularly 19th and 20th century pottery (none of which was recovered). The majority of the inlet was comprehensively surveyed by snorkel.

2.5.2.

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Photo 9: Panorama of intertidal inlet Ob Leasaid, Manish, Harris, surveyed by divers (J. Benjamin 2012).

2.5.3.

A small bay to the SW of Ob Leasaid was noted to have a notable series of sheltering reefs or geological faults which protected it from the open sea and appeared to form an attractive natural harbour, split into three distinct areas each bordered to the south by a large transverse wall-like outcrop, each having a gap which might allow vessels to pass through. The shallowest of these, at the northern end of the bay was intertidal and drained almost completely at low tide. A very rich collection of 19th and 20th century pottery and other material was noted although no older material was noted. A snorkel survey of the entire bay was undertaken at low tide. Although the geological features were confirmed to form a strong natural barrier extending several metres below the waterline the survey was hampered by the presence of seaweed. A small percentage of the area was clear of seaweed and revealed a clean gravel and shell seabed composition. A concentration of large glass jars were noted heavily encrusted with marine organisms. These were beyond free-diving limits and none were recovered. They may relate to an act of deliberate dumping. A similar cache had been noted at the mouth of Ob Leasaid during the previous year’s survey. The team then split, with Dr. Lenfert returning to North Uist. Dr. Benjamin and John McCarthy continued on to survey the final site at Lundale tidal pond. LUNDALE, LEWIS The submerged bog at Lundale (Photo 10), a small inlet on south Loch Roag oriented roughly north-south was investigated by divers in July 2012. The area is marked as a tidal pond on modern OS mapping and is separated from the main body of Loch Roag by a small rocky islet with shallow bedrock sills on either side of the islet. The area has previously been visited by STUA (IJNA 1992) who identified “the remains of buried walls…visible at low tide beneath a horizon of buried willow and birch trees in a tidal pool at the south end of the bay… The remains are probably Mesolithic” (IJNA 1992:163). The OHCCMAPP visit located walls similar to other boulder built structures in the islands and maybe related to a yair or other unidentified intertidal structures. The wood horizon is likely to be mid-Holocene, stratigraphically beneath Holocene blanket peat.

2.6. 2.6.1.

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Photo 10: Aerial photograph of Lundale (looking west) taken during 2011 OHCCMAPP campaign. The surveyed area is the isolated basin to the left of shot (J. Benjamin 2011). The arrow indicates the eroding peat horizon containing prehistoric wood.

2.6.2.

The snorkel survey at Lundale was undertaken at low tide over two days (5th & 6th July 2012). A walkover survey of the area was undertaken and safe entry points for the snorkel survey were identified. A number of interesting features were noted including submerged peats containing large amounts of wood including numerous large branches. Near the mouth of the tidal pond the tidal currents had created an eroded channel approximately 25 metres in length through in situ peats, exposing a significant section. On shore several cores were also taken through terrestrial and intertidal peats, showing a depth of up to 1.7 metres of peat overlying a stony and presumably post-glacial surface. A possible fish-trap was noted at the edge of the basin, running from the shore in an S-shaped curve to a small island of preserved peat within the basin. Cores taken around the fish trap and island showed further evidence of significant deposits of submerged peats overlying glacial clay and overlain by marine sediments.

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Photo 11: Fieldwork at Lundale. Truncated peat deposits, snorkel survey, and auger sampling next to a possible causeway or yair, respectively (J. McCarthy 2012).

2.6.3.

The tidal pond contains evidence of inundated woodland which has been inundated by an expanding valley peat, which has in turn been inundated by rising eustatic sea level once the bedrock sills have been overtopped. The site therefore represents opportunities for examining Holocene sea-level rise as well as woodland and archaeological landscape development prior to eustatic sea level inundation. The full power of the tides energy appears to be reduced by the narrow access and islet seaward of the tidal pond. Observed bathymetry in the pond indicates a small channel being apparent within the midst of the pond to a depth of around 150 cm with the landward flanks being covered in silt and marine mud under a water depth of around 20 – 40 cm. Preservation of inundated peat and woodland layers was observed to be good. Substantial lengths of intact roundwood are visible in the base of the tidal pond as are eroded beds of peat along the edge of the probably tide-cut channel. Two short cores were recovered by the divers close to a small relict peat island (adjacent to an intertidal structure) in the southwest of the inlet and another towards the centre of the tidal pond at the base of the tide-cut channel in 0.4 m and 1.2 m water depth, respectively. Both indicate the preservation of woody peat around 40cm thick overlying a deposit of fine-grained marine silty-clay underlying the extant marine mud that has accumulated across much of the pond. The full depth of the preserved deposits within the tidal pond could not be retrieved at this time. The repeated sequence of deposits might indicate that the surface of the inundated bog slopes downwards towards the centre of the tidal pond. It appears that in both Hartavagh and Lundale, preservation conditions exist where sediments of terrestrial origin remain in intertidal areas (cf. Lübke et al. 2011). Both sites have generally similar topographic and bathymetric characteristics (small islets and relatively restricted tidal access between them). Opportunities for detailed palaeoenvironmental analysis, sea-level investigations and associated palaeogeographical reconstructions clearly exist within these locations. They also provide parameters for identifying areas of sediment preservation and for developing site location models.

2.6.4.

2.6.5.

2.6.6.

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ASSOCIATED SITES: COMMUNITY REPORTS OUTSIDE OF THE WESTERN ISLES

Lub Dubh-Aird, Upper Loch Torridon facing south (photo: J. Benjamin 2012)

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3. 3.1.

ASSOCIATED SITES: COMMUNITY REPORTS UPPER LOCH TORRIDON – LUB DUBH-AIRD Site Background The investigation of Lub Dubh-Aird reflects work that was carried out in collaboration and resource sharing with Prof. Hardy who is Principal Investigator at this site. Following a Community report of microliths from a beach in the south east of Upper Loch Torridon (Photo 12), several short campaigns of field investigation were undertaken during April, May and July 2012. In collaboration with Prof. Karen Hardy (ICREA) an integrated series of terrestrial, intertidal and underwater surveys and testpit excavations were made at the site. The following sections contain elements also reported in Hardy et al. (2012).

3.1.1.

Photo 12: Aerial Photograph of Lub Dubh-Aird, Upper Loch Torridon at mid-tide, looking southeast (photo: J. Benjamin 2012). The main implementiferous cove is in the lower right next to the end of the road.

3.1.2.

The site is a series of small coves on a small bedrock promontory. A faultline runs roughly E-W at the base of the promontory creating sharply stepped bedrock topography. The promontory is covered in shallow blanket peat overlying the bedrock. There is evidence of a 20th century fish farm in the cove3 and a modern unmetalled access road has been built (probably sometime after the 1950’s from mapping evidence4). The earliest mapped location in the vicinity of the peninsula is “Ardmore” on John Thomson’s Atlas of Scotland map of 18325, the peninsula

3 4

http://her.highland.gov.uk/SingleResult.aspx?uid=MHG49631 (last accessed 17/12/2012). http://geo.nls.uk (last accessed 10/09/2012). 5 http://maps.nls.uk/atlas/thomson/index.html (last accessed 10/09/2012).

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directly to the west of the site. A couple of small bothy’s or other structures6 are preserved unroofed at the entrance to the promontory adjacent to the road; they are not recorded on the first and second edition OS maps. Between the First and Second editions (between 1875 – 1905 surveys) the peninsula much of the inland area seems to have come under forestry plantation where previously the OS have mapped the peninsula as a boggy area. At this time a coastal access road was built; previously access around the south of the loch was made by a route that the modern main road follows to the south. Vegetation cover today is mainly heather scrub and wetland sedges and grass at the peat fringes of the cove with a small planted coppice of pines (perhaps a remnant of the historical plantation). Rhododendrons cover most of the remaining landscape, at great density. 3.1.3. The area is interesting archaeologically. An Ahrensburgian point was found at Loch Shieldaig, nearby (Ballin 2003), and up to 18 rock shelters with lithics or lithic scatters have been found in the area around Loch Torridon (Hardy & WickhamJones 2009) (Hardy et al. 2012). A possible rock shelter has been reported previously7 in addition to a rock shelter feature investigated in more detail during this project8 and initial evidence of the flint scatter9 analysed below. To date several thousand lithics have been recovered from the small cove (Hardy et al. 2012), mostly from the intertidal zone.

3.1.4.

3.1.5.

Photo 13: Low tide at Lub Dubh-Aird (April 2012, photo: J. Benjamin 2012). The investigation of this site reflects work that was carried out in collaboration and resource sharing with Prof. Hardy who is Principal Investigator at Lub Dubh-Aird.

3.1.6.

The sharp condition of the lithics and debitage indicates they have not been reworked far or perhaps for very long (Photo 14). It was observed early on that microliths were present within the peat deposits fringing the cove, with a concentration of lithics present on the back beach.

6

http://her.highland.gov.uk/SingleResult.aspx?uid=MHG44530; http://her.highland.gov.uk/SingleResult.aspx?uid=MHG27043; http://her.highland.gov.uk/SingleResult.aspx?uid=MHG49635; http://her.highland.gov.uk/SingleResult.aspx?uid=MHG49636 (last accessed 17/12/2012). 7 http://her.highland.gov.uk/SingleResult.aspx?uid=MHG49637 (last accessed 17/12/2012). 8 http://her.highland.gov.uk/SingleResult.aspx?uid=MHG54900 (last accessed 17/12/2012). 9 http://her.highland.gov.uk/SingleResult.aspx?uid=MHG54901 (last accessed 17/12/2012).

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Photo 14: Selected worked lithics from Lub Dubh-Aird (Courtesy of K. Hardy 2012)

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3.2. 3.2.1.

LOCH LAXFORD Following a Community report of a wreck in Loch Laxford, the site has been put forward for inclusion in SAMPHIRE (Scotland’s Atlantic Maritime Past: Heritage, Investigation, Research & Education), the successor project to OHCCMAPP. The material from the site includes a range of metal and wooden debris and a large arrow-shaped anchor with flukes, possibly of 19th century origin. The site is partially protected by sand. Few wrecks with known positions exist for Loch Laxford. A number of casualties / recorded losses specifically relating to 19th century wrecks in the Loch are archived by RCAHMS and other sources. Some possibilities are outlined below.
Description Wooden schooner, cargo of bog ore. Lost th 16 January 1879 after being stranded on ‘Crow Island’ Lost ?1842, en route Peterhead to Liverpool. Stranded on rocks during bad weather on approach to Cape Wrath, [mid-19th century] Source http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/220938/details/h elena+crow+island+loch+laxford+north+minch/ http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/275364/details/p hoenix+loch+laxford+north+minch/ http://www.eastdurham.co.uk/seaham/colliers_logbook.htm

3.2.2.

3.2.3.

Wreck

Helena

Phoenix

Charlotte McKenzie

Table 1: Casualties from Loch Laxford, dating to c.19th Century.

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THEMATIC ASSESSMENTS

Loch Eynort, South Uist, July 2012

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4. 4.1.

THEMATIC ASSESSMENTS INTERTIDAL STRUCTURES Survey and Recording Intertidal structures at Hartavagh (Figure 4, Figure 5) and Stulaigh (Figure 8) were surveyed using dGPS equipment to provide centimetre precision to measurements of their position. Topographic cross-sections highlighting the location of the intertidal structures within their intertidal and fluvial settings are presented for Hartavgah (Figure 7, Figure 6) and Stulaigh (Figure 9).

4.1.1.

Figure 4: Georeferenced AP of Hartavagh inlet. Nine dry-stone structures are visible in the intertidal zone. Elevations relative to mOD highlight the marked differences in elevation between groups of structures. The vertical offset between the dark blue and dark red features is around 2m. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013

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Figure 5: Elevation (mOD) of intertidal features at Hartavagh, South Uist. Location of topographic transects A-A’ (westernmost transect) and B-B’ (easternmost transect) are marked. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013

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2.5

2.0

1.5

1.0

0.5

0.0 120 100 80 60 40 20 0

-0.5

-1.0

-1.5

-2.0

Figure 6: Topographic cross-section (A-A’) across yair Hartavagh 8 (at 5m) and intertidal walls at 45 and 50 m, respectively. Vertical scale corrected to OD at Newlyn, Cornwall.
7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 0 -1 -2 20 40 60 80 100 120 140

Figure 7: Topographic cross-section (B-B’) across intertidal wall feature Hartavagh 9 (at 105m). Vertical scale corrected to OD at Newlyn, Cornwall.

4.1.2.

At Stulaigh, the larger yair located in the intertidal mouth of the stream at Caolas Stulaigh was surveyed using dGPS (Figure 8). The smaller yair located at the foot of the cliff beneath the main buildings was too dangerous to survey due to seaweed cover and poor weather conditions. As at Hartavagh the emplaced boulders that make up the yair are laid in a concave form relative to the receding tide. There is substantial disturbance at the apex of the Stulaigh yair which is assumed to have occurred at the point of maximum flow from the stream and perhaps tidal currents acting to undermine the footing of the boulders. This is reflected in the 0.5 m difference in the height of the boulders measured in Figure 8, where boulders have been moved downstream and downslope (Figure 9). Yairs and their influence on geomorphology The recorded boulder-built yairs in cross-section highlight the capturing of fluvial and intertidal sediments. This typically occurs on the upstream side as highlighted by the reduction and near plateaux observed in the stream-bed gradient at around 20-25 m along profile. In lieu of wooden or other organic components to these features the accumulation of sediment provides some resource for sediment dating by optical methods; however, it is likely that only a terminus ante quem date would be gathered. The influence of

4.1.3.

4.1.4.

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key taphonomic factors such as tidal reworking of sediments and incomplete bleaching of luminescence signals upon the reliability of the dates would be site-specific.

Figure 8: Elevation (mOD) of yair structure at Stulaigh, South Uist. Location of topographic transect C-C’ is marked. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013

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2.0

1.5

1.0

0.5

0.0 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0

-0.5

-1.0

-1.5

Figure 9: Topographic cross-section (C-C’) across yair Stulaigh North. The yair is at 20m. Vertical scale corrected to OD at Newlyn, Cornwall.

4.1.5.

Identifying parameters for surveying intertidal features Intertidal structures recorded at Hartavagh (Figure 4, Figure 5) and Stulaigh (Figure 8) provide a preliminary dataset for investigating methodologies and analyses. Additional datasets from around the British Isles have been sought to provide context on spatial, temporal and morphological variability and use of intertidal structures. By surveying these structures in 3 dimensions and calibrating them relative to a defined datum (in this case Ordnance Datum, OD) it is possible to lay the foundations for future comparative research. Assuming that some of the structures are indeed structures for trapping fish and other marine species a number of parameters can be derived from the survey dataset and available literature to provide critical elements for future catalogues. These can be classified under Morphological, Interpretational and Survey fields (Table 2).
Survey Local Tidal Range MHWS / HAT MLWS / LAT Chart Datum (CD) offset Port (CD) Coordinate System / Projection Geoid / Datum Latitude / Easting Longitude / Northing Elevation (to fixed datum) Lat / Easting Error Lon / Northing Error Elevation (to fixed datum) Error Table 2: Proposed parameters underpinning the cataloguing and assessment of intertidal structures. Morphology Morphology Functional elevation Construction Material Construction Method Interpretation Geomorphological Context Archaeological Context Date of construction Period of Use Method of Use Species’ sought

4.1.6.

4.1.7.

Within the context of reviewing the literature, the latter column, Survey parameters (Table 2) are likely to be restricted to relatively recent projects with access to dGPS

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or well-established local benchmarks which permit precise correlation to a fixed datum (most usefully for the purposes of comparison, OD or CD). 4.1.8. As Jordan et al. (2010) have shown, rationalising coastal features (geomorphology or archaeology) which are formed relative to their contemporary sea level is complex within the context of modern fixed datums such as CD or OD. Unless a site is close to a port with a CD offset or Newlyn in Cornwall (OD) a far-field site’s relationship to sea level is not particularly well constrained. However, the use of local benchmarks may inhibit site and inter-study comparison. To facilitate both aspects of geodesy and local sea level variability it is necessary to define datums, projections, underpinning geoid models as well as local and regional sea level variables (Table 2). Interpretation and Comparison Recent survey data from the Scilly Isles (courtesy of CISMAS10) is compared to our surveyed examples from Hartavagh and Stulaigh (Figure 10).

4.1.9.

3.0

St Mary's High Tide Stornoway High Tide

2.0

Lochboisdale High Tide

elevation (m OD)

1.0

0.0

-1.0

Stulaigh measured Low Tide Hartavagh measured Low Tide

-2.0

Stornoway Low Tide Lochboisdale Low Tide
-3.0 0.00 2.00 4.00 6.00 lon/lat Hartavagh Stulaigh Scilly Isles (Cecil 1983)

St Mary's Low Tide

8.00

10.00

12.00

Samson Flats (CISMAS 2010)

Figure 10: Summary of selected surveys of intertidal wall structures relative to OD with local tidal ranges. Average elevations of all survey points for each structure are indicated by the data points; vertical error bars depict the standard deviation of the mean elevation. Data from the Scilly Isles is included for comparison.

4.1.10. The partitioning of intertidal structures and yairs is clearly shown at Hartavagh with around 1m difference in elevation ranges between two groups of structures (Figure 10). The features also differ on morphological grounds, the lower group being
10

http://www.cismas.org.uk/docs/SF10%20Report%20WEB%20comp.pdf (last accessed 27/08/2012)

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curvilinear features extending across the tidal range similar to yairs identified across the Outer Hebrides (see OHCCMAPP 2011 report). The upper group are morphologically diverse and contain short walls joining the coast at one end, or appear to be short causeways between islets (Figure 4). 4.1.11. Immediately, the site-specific, vernacular nature of these features is highlighted by the elevation of the larger of the two Stulaigh yairs. The elevation of the Stulaigh yair corresponds to the lower range of the Hartavagh upper intertidal structures. Tidal range is critical for interpreting these features however the broad range of the tide at all sites makes detailed interpretation difficult. For example the yairs at Hartavagh lie within the lower half of the tidal range, the walls in the upper half. Broadly speaking these features at Hartavagh and Stulaigh are probably of a similar age, c. 18th - 19th Century, any sea level differences on a multi-decadal scale are effectively engulfed by the local tidal range. 4.1.12. The use of intertidal structures as fish traps suggests they are accessible at some point during the low tide however the local geomorphology and topography, species sought and method of use may all have a bearing on how the tidal elevation of the feature is useful as a parameter for comparison. Some large wooden-framed traps in the Severn Estuary for example must be emptied by hand during the low-tide and are dependent on foot-access along their length and therefore must be located in the tidal range to allow sufficient time for these tasks (Chadwick and Catchpole 2010). 4.1.13. Stone fish weirs recorded along the Somerset coast of the Severn Estuary during the recent RCZA are directly comparable to many of the curvilinear stone-built yairs observed in the Outer Hebrides, especially those with a ‘gut’ or sluice at the apex of the structure. Baskets or other devices to trap fish are installed at the gut and the fish are channelled along the interior of the arms as the tide falls. So-called ‘neap tide weirs’ (Chadwick and Catchpole 2010: 55) permit fishing during the majority of the tidal cycle. 4.1.14. To maximise the period where fish can be collected from the ebbing tide the most likely elevation for a yair to be located is logically close to the mean tidal range. In the case of Hartavagh and Stulaigh, south and north of Lochboisdale, respectively the mean between HAT and LAT listed in TotalTides (taken from Admiralty data) is around -0.36 mOD. The average elevation of the lower group is -1.152±0.3 mOD. The Stulaigh yair lies 0.3m OD within the upper range of the measured tidal range suggesting that the yair at Stulaigh could have been operated during parts of the tidal cycle tides that the yairs at Hartavagh could not be. The difference in elevation is most likely due to differences in the topography between the two locations. The complex islet and stream morphology at Hartavagh relatively restricts where a yair could be positioned to create a standing pool upstream, whereas the flatter, open topography at Stulaigh means greater flexibility for emplacing the structure within the tidal range. 4.1.15. Interpreting these tidal relationships raises several questions. Due to the range of tidal variability in these field locations what resolution of interpretation of feature’s tidal elevation is valid? Is categorisation to the upper, mean or lower range of tidal variability diagnostic? Does a deviation from the mean tidal range indicate an age factor relative to a previous period of lower sea level (i.e. does the c.80cm difference between mean tidal range and mean feature elevation indicate age)?

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4.1.16. Within the context of relative sea-level model and sea-level index points the uncertainty in both chronometric dating and the taphonomy of the indicative strata and peat compaction for instance make inferences at the sub-metre scale problematic. In the absence of preserved wooden elements in their construction, it is also less likely that a clear age model can be constructed for yairs and other constructed features (now) located in the intertidal zone. In some cases it might be possible to recover stratified sediments suitable for radiocarbon or OSL dating which have a clearly defined stratigraphic relationship to the construction of the yair; detailed investigation of individual features is required, either by augering or test-pitting. Augering around the features at Hartavagh produced no in situ sediments, although a notable accumulation of marine mud was noted form within the features (at Stulaigh too) indicating that over time mobile sediments reworked in the tidal cycle may serve to inhibit the efficiency of stone-built weirs. 4.1.17. The vertical range of these parameters serves to further reduce the level of empirical diagnostic information that can be recovered from yairs, on their use and tidal relationship.

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4.2.

LITHIC ARTEFACTS IN THE INTERTIDAL ZONE Lub Dubh-Aird The investigation of this site reflects work that was carried out in collaboration and resource sharing with Prof. Hardy who is Principal Investigator at Lub Dubh-Aird. The beach at Lub Dubh-Aird (NG 8723 5505, site name LDA 1) was brought to our attention by Prof. Karen Hardy, by local resident Andrew Patrick has been recognising lithics here for several years, having walked across most beaches in the area. He claims that apart from occasional finds elsewhere, this is the only beach to produce substantial numbers of lithics. After examination of his lithics collection, which confirmed that the assemblage contained knapped artefacts, a small project was established to try to determine the nature of the archaeology of the beach and its surroundings, and to try to locate the origin of the lithic artefacts. The sharp condition of the lithics and debitage indicates they have not moved far or perhaps been exposed for very long. It was also observed early on that lithics were present within the peat deposits fringing the cove, with a concentration of lithics present on the back beach. See the Data Structure Report for a full report11 (Hardy et al. 2012). Regional sea-level reconstructions are relatively poorly constrained in the region. The Applecross model of Shennan et al. (2006) suggests there is potential for early Mesolithic (c. 8000 BP) submerged prehistory; with uplift acting to move coastal sites out of the intertidal zone after around 5000 BP. In theory then, there is potential for Mesolithic cultural heritage to be located on land, in the intertidal zone and/ or from an underwater source. To test whether there was an underwater deposit of early Mesolithic age, a shallow-water survey was undertaken to explore whether source material for the in-washed lithics lay underwater. A defined deposit was not located but the cover of seaweed and mobile sands on the loch bed may preclude detection (Hardy et al. 2012). The focus of the fieldwork became the intertidal and onshore areas of the peninsula. An initial, non-disturbance underwater survey was conducted using a 100m linear pattern with visibility 5m in clear water to a maximum of 2m depth. The shallowwater survey was conducted from 100m horizontal distance from the low water mark but identified no surface artefacts on the seabed which is composed of pebbles and medium grain sand in these shallow conditions. It is likely that this area is affected by some tidal and wave activity, despite its very sheltered locale. A further snorkel survey around the cave was conducted at a later date, also with no identifiable artefacts recovered. Surface sediments appear to be mobile overlying bedrock with the potential for pockets of land surfaces or possibly broader areas to be preserved (as encountered in the intertidal zone). Further underwater geoarchaeological sampling would be required to confirm the presence of preserved palaeosols and test excavation of the seabed would be required to test the presence of lithic or other cultural material under water (Hardy et al. 2012). Nine test pits (approx. 1m x 0.5m) were laid out above the beach (Figure 3). Test pits 1, 6 8 and 9 were laid at the beach edge while the remainder were further up the slope and away from the beach. All material from the test pits was screened for lithics and two test pits were sampled using a 2mm screening mesh. The results demonstrated that very few lithics were found in any of the test pits above the level of the beach. Test pit 1, was placed

4.2.1.

4.2.2.

4.2.3.

4.2.4.

4.2.5.

11

http://www.socantscot.org/articles.asp?pubid=16&Menu=243 (last access 17/12/2012).

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directly above the location where the highest concentration of beach lithics was found; it produced 100 lithics below the peat, in the same small-gravel context as on the beach. Though we did not find any cultural evidence suggesting an actual site, it seems that there may have been a site here that is no longer evident. This corresponded well to the location of the lithics on the beach; all of these were found in amongst the gravel below the large angular stones. Shovel pits into the beach itself revealed a very small covering of sand and gravel directly onto bedrock, with no accumulation of sediment. 4.2.6. Of the Community-gathered collection 1,661 are lithic artefacts (Table 3). A significant number of the finds are bi-polar technique flakes and cores, mainly in flint but also a substantial proportion in quartz/quartzite.
Flint: chips 115 Flint: hard percussion flakes 63 Flint: bipolar flakes 443 Flint: indeterminate flakes 590 Flint: indeterminate pieces 232 Flint: platform-edges 1 Flint: irregular cores 9 Flint: combined platform/bipolar cores 2 Flint: split pebbles (early-stage bipolar cores) 43 Flint: bipolar cores 49 Flint: flakes w retouch or use-wear 39 Quartz/quartzite: hard percussion flakes 5 Quartz/quartzite: bipolar flakes 2 Quartz/quartzite: indeterminate flakes 57 Quartz/quartzite: indeterminate pieces 7 Quartz/quartzite: irregular cores 1 Baked mudstone or igneous rock: hard percussion flakes 2 Unknown rock type: Indeterminate flakes 1 Total 1,661 Table 3: Summary of Community-gathered lithics from Lub Dubh-Aird (Ballin 2012)

4.2.7.

Initially a gridded survey was undertaken across the beach in order to define areas of concentration. Due to tidal activity concentrations are likely to change on relatively short timescales and along sorting gradients by size and density. Over 400 lithics were recovered from this survey, concentrated mainly at the back of the beach probably due to tidal action (Table 4).

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Chips 30 Hard percussion blades 1 Hard percussion flakes 6 Bipolar flakes 96 Indeterminate flakes 213 Indeterminate pieces 38 Single-platform cores 1 Irregular cores 2 Bipolar cores 12 Pieces w retouch/use-wear 18 Total 417 Table 4: Summary of flint artefacts recovered from gridded survey (Ballin 2012).

4.2.8.

A series of test pits (2 – 5) in a transect moving from the back beach to the brow of the ridge overlooking the beach were excavated in May 2012 by WA C&M and Community volunteers. The stratigraphy of the test pits was simple typically bedrock at around 30-50cm which is overlain by coarse beach sand in the pits closest to the beach. Higher up the slope the sand is not present and peat directly overlies bedrock. During excavation it was observed that microliths and debitage were present only at the interface between the beach deposit (002) and the peat (001), typically within the root bed of the heather and grass. Bulk samples were taken from each context in each test pit for sieving and lithics analysis by Lithics Research (Hardy et al. 2012).

4.2.9.

4.2.10. The LDA 1 test pit samples produced over 100 lithics, concentrated in three test pits, TP1 located at the beach-peat interface, TP5 located above the road overlooking the cove and TP7at the back of the beach beneath a large exposure of bedrock (Table 5).
Total Flint: chips 11 Flint: hard percussion flakes 1 Flint: bipolar flakes 7 Flint: indeterminate flakes 3 36 Flint: indeterminate pieces 1 1 Flint: bipolar cores 1 1 Flint: pieces w retouch/use-wear 1 1 2 Quartz/quartzite: possibly worked 47 2 4 53 TOTAL 100 8 4 112 Table 5: Summary of lithic analysis from test pitting campaign (Ballin 2012). TP 1 10 1 7 33 TP 5 1 TP 7

4.2.11. Of the 112 lithic artefacts 59 are flint, mainly flakes. Seven of these are bipolar flakes. Testpit 1 contained 33 indeterminate flint flakes and a relatively large number of possibly worked quartz/quartzite. 4.2.12. Taphonomically it appears that these lithics were preserved at the surface of the beach deposit which was then buried by blanket peat at some time during the

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Holocene. The sharp condition of the lithics (as well as the beach sand) suggests they were deposited without significant water rolling perhaps soon after production. A working hypothesis during the test pitting was that these buried peats were the source of the lithics on the beach. We do not believe this is the case, rather that the test pits contain reworked lithics of the same origin as the intertidal assemblage, but that the back beach portion of the lithics has been held in place by the developing peat. 4.2.13. In other areas of the LDA peninsula, small numbers of lithics have been located on other beaches. A summary of all examined sites (LDA 1 – 4) is presented in Table 6.
Number of lithic artefacts LDA 1, main bay NG 8723 5505 2754 LDA 2, small bay between LDA 1 - LDA 3 NG 87198 55028 12 LDA 3 rock shelter NG 87350 54981 17 LDA 4, larger bay at north end of peninsula NG8692 55257 8 Table 6: Summary of lithic artefacts recovered from LDA sites 1 – 4 (Hardy et al. 2012). Site name Grid reference

4.2.14. The entire lithic assemblage has been analysed by Torben Bjarke Ballin (Hardy et al. 2012). A number of important factors are highlighted with the LDA assemblages including the provenance of the raw material used in their production. 4.2.15. Firstly, the raw material derives from two main materials; quartz/quartzite or flint. The flint is variable in colour, pattern, texture and inclusions indicating relatively poor quality material, with the inclusion of fossils, some of the flinty-looking material is perhaps better described as chert. 4.2.16. The provenance of these pieces is uncertain, but the presence on the shores of Lub Dubh-Aird of numerous small, medium-sized and large, unworked flint pebbles suggests that there may be local to Upper Loch Torridon. Due to the ‘U-bend shaped’ bottle-neck in the middle of Loch Torridon (between Loch Shieldaig and Upper Loch Torridon), they are unlikely to have been washed in with the tide, and the many very small flint pebbles (some are pea-sized) suggest that they were probably not collected by prehistoric people along the Scottish west-coast and transported in by boat (Hardy et al. 2012:10). 4.2.17. Samples of flint from the site were examined by geologists John Faithfull from the Hunterian Museum, Glasgow, and Kathryn Goodenough and Maarten Krabbendam from British Geological Survey, Edinburgh. Although most of the flint is thought to derive from secondary deposits in the upper Loch Torridon, the general impression was that the samples included pieces formed at different times and probably associated with different geological formations. It was suggested that some of the pebbles may derive from conglomerates at the lower part of the Precambrian Torridonian sandstone (the Diabaig Formation; Park et al. 2002, 68), but that pieces with fossils post-date this geological period. Some of those could possibly derive from the Cambrian/Ordovician Durness Limestone which previously covered large parts of north-west Scotland; presently the closest occurrences of Durness Limestone are found a few km north-east of Loch Torridon and on Skye (ibid., 72). Some pieces with chalky cortex may date to the Jurassic period; in the local area, rock dating to this period may be found on Skye and Raasay, as well as around Applecross (Hudson & Trewin 2002, 332). Examination by a palaeontologist would

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allow the geological date, and thereby probably provenance, of fossil-bearing pieces (Hardy et al. 2012:10). 4.2.18. Geological provenance for the quartz/quartzite is precluded on the basis that it is similar to fine-grained quartz commonly found across Scotland, and probably derive from local sources. 4.2.19. Two pieces from LDA 1 were examined by John Faithfull (the Hunterian Museum). They are both weathered/rolled, which makes identification difficult. They could be baked mudstone from the Staffin area on Skye (cf. Saville et al. 2012), but because of their weathered condition it cannot be ruled out that they may be altered tuff (volcanic ash which may have been deposited either on land or at sea). An early prehistoric assemblage possibly based on tuff was recovered from Clachan Harbour on Raasay (Ballin et al. 2011, Hardy et al. 2012: 11). 4.2.20. In summary, the lithic finds from Lub Dubh-Aird include artefacts from four locations along the eastern shore of the peninsula, namely LDA 1-4. LDA 1 is the most significant of the four sites, yielding 2754 pieces (1916 pieces from the S1 collection and 838 from the S2 gridded survey of the area), against the other sites’ eight to 17 pieces each. Most of the finds are bipolar flakes and waste, supplemented by handfuls of hard percussion flakes. Apart from one of two pieces in baked mudstone or igneous material (which may be an unsuccessful blade) and one broad flint blade (both from LDA 1), no proper blades or microblades, or cores from blade or microblade production, were recovered; although elongated blanks may occasionally be detached from bipolar cores, these pieces do not represent a welldefined operational schema or define a blade/microblade industry. Modified pieces are limited to small numbers of pieces with expedient retouch or use-wear, and the only reasonably accomplished pieces are: one thumbnail-scraper, one side-scraper and one truncated piece, all from LDA 1. 4.2.21. Although the collection is not associated with any strong chronological indicators, the recovery of most finds in the tidal zone (cf. Ballin et al. 2011), the presence of two possible broad blades, and the solitary relatively plain thumbnail scraper (contrasting the well-known, well-executed Bronze Age thumbnail scrapers) does indicate a likely (although not certain) early prehistoric date, most probably in the earlier Mesolithic period. However, the almost complete absence of blades/microblades and formal tools sets this collection apart from other early prehistoric assemblages from western Scotland (cf. Saville 2004), all of which include a notable blade/microblade element, as well as some typical scrapers, piercers, burins and /microliths. 4.2.22. A number of interpretations should be considered, such as 1) the collection from Lub Dubh-Aird represents an as yet undiscovered West of Scotland industry which is based almost entirely on the application of bipolar technique; 2) the collection represents a special activity area (i.e. one aspect of a prehistoric group’s economy), which only required expedient scraping and cutting implements; or 3) the collection represent raw material procurement and collection of flint pebbles and cobbles from a local secondary shore deposit. Given the lithic evidence from the rest of western Scotland, Option 1 is clearly the least likely however it is not clear whether Option 2 or Option 3 is most likely, that is whether Lub Dubh-Aird represents special economic activities or raw material procurement.

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Assemblage taphonomy 4.2.23. Taphonomically, it appears that these lithics were preserved at the surface of the beach deposit which was then buried by blanket peat at some time during the Holocene. The sharp condition of the lithics (as well as the beach sand) suggests they were deposited without significant water rolling perhaps soon after production. A working hypothesis during the excavation was that these buried peats were the source of the lithics on the beach. We do not believe this is the case, rather that the test pits contain reworked lithics of the same origin as the intertidal assemblage, but that the back beach portion of the lithics has been held in place by the developing peat. 4.2.24. Currently we believe the source area of the lithics to probably derive from two discrete areas; deposits in and around the rock shelter, with production occurring at the back of the beach, the debitage, cores and flakes being reworked around the beach by the tides. The collapse of some of the rock shelter may also introduce more lithic material into the cove which also washes onto the beach. 4.2.25. At Lub Dubh-Aird the expanding peat appears to have preserved at least part of the lithic assemblage close to where it was produced. The later erosion of the peat cover by tides and waves has remobilised the artefacts into the intertidal zone where they were rediscovered (Figure 11). This interaction with coastal processes clearly has implications for the preservation of archaeological deposits from coastal activity since the LGM, from our vantage point, but also suggests the local (human-scale) configuration of the coast has varied substantially during the Holocene. A dominant feature of the modern landscape at Lub Dubh-Aird, blanket peat expansion over the entire site, arguably may not have been so extensive moving backwards through the Holocene. The environment at the coast during the Mesolithic may have been very different with blanket peat more confined to waterlogged, low-lying areas of coasts and valleys rather than an all-encompassing blanket across the landscape. However, the interface between the peat cover and buried sediments beneath provide some protection from erosion and aids the preservation of archaeological materials. Accessing these materials may of course be impeded by significant depths of peat but unique and highly significant lithic assemblages may be located just beneath the surface (Ballin 2012).

Figure 11: Schematic cross-section of Lub Dubh-Aird beach and intertidal zone indicating taphonomic pathway for lithic artefacts to enter the intertidal zone. Simplified core sections highlighting extant beach sand (orange) overlying lagoon silty clays (grey) are indicated.

Inter-tidal geomorphology 4.2.26. Coring in the intertidal zone at Lub Dubh-Aird has also recorded the presence of fine-grained, low-energy silty-clay behind a bedrock sill suggesting that a lagoonal environment was present prior to the formation of the sandy beach, presumably at a time of lower sea level where the tide did not overtop the bedrock sill and scour the fine-grained sediments from the basin on a regular basis (Figure 11). This

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environment may predate the archaeological assemblage. Further opportunities exist for integrating sea-level studies directly into investigations of coastal and submerged prehistory in Upper Loch Torridon and similar landscapes across Scotland (e.g. Ballin et al. 2011). Grimsay Flint 4.2.27. The flint reported to the project from the intertidal zone at Grimsay was also examined by Torben Ballin. On further inspection it was decided that the pebbles were ecofacts, of a natural origin.

Figure 12: Reported flint raw material from the intertidal zone at Kallin, Grimsay (© WA Coastal & Marine 2011, ©Getmapping 2011).

4.2.28. From the perspective of raw material procurement the larger pebble is around 5 cm long indicating that flint raw material suitable for tool-making is present. A range of lithic raw material including flint, quartz, chert and other materials should be looked for in the Islands during future prospection and survey work.

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4.3. 4.3.1.

THE GEOARCHAEOLOGY OF INTERTIDAL PEATS & SEDIMENTS Substantial but highly localised preservation of peat and organic-rich fine-grained sediments at the inland head of the Hartavagh inlet, highlight localised potential for geoarchaeological investigations of the intertidal zone (Figure 14). Depending upon the taphonomy of the deposits they may represent palaeoenvironmental archives of sea level change and coastal development. Similar peat deposits have been recovered (but not analysed) at the Lundale inlet, Lewis and preserved marsh clays were located beneath the beach deposits of Lub Dubh-Aird indicating an inundated isolation basin palaeo-environment (see section 4.2.26). These palaeoenvironmental resources provide local-to-regional scale opportunities for reconstructing the Holocene environmental context of these locations.

Figure 13: Borehole locations at Hartavagh (Photo: WA Coastal & Marine 2011).

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4.3.2.

These sites preserve aggrading or prograding marsh and peat deposits which have subsequently been inundated by the sea, at some point, during the Holocene. This interaction with coastal processes clearly has implications for the preservation of archaeological deposits from coastal activity since the LGM, from our vantage point, but also suggests the local configuration of the coast has varied between archaeological periods. A significant feature of the modern landscape, blanket peat expansion over entire catchments arguably was not so extensive moving backwards through the Holocene. The environment at the coast during the Mesolithic at these sites is likely to have been very different with blanket peat and basin mires more confined to waterlogged, low-lying areas of coasts and valleys rather than an allencompassing blanket across the landscape. However, the interface and buried sediments beneath expanding blanket peats provide some protection from erosion and aid the preservation of archaeological materials. Accessing these materials may of course be impeded by significant depths of peat making the investigation of exposed sections and eroding coastal peats a worthwhile undertaking. The peat deposits are preserved between the two freshwater streams draining into the intertidal zone at Hartavagh; as Transect 1 (Figure 13) buried beneath a ubiquitous layer of coarse and clayey sands (Figure 14) that characterise large areas of the intertidal zone of the inlet. Transects 2 and 3 typically recorded 0.3 – 0.4 m of this marine mud directly over bedrock.

4.3.3.

Figure 14: Core profile of Transect 1 at Hartavagh. Core 1-7 is probably related to the inundated course of a freshwater stream that enters the inlet in the southeast. Blue circles denote radiocarbon samples in Core 1-4. The vertical scale accompanying TR1-4 denotes downcore depth and elevation (mOD) in parentheses).

4.3.4.

Samples were taken for AMS radiocarbon dating from a distinct peat layer at c. 0.5m downcore which overlies a clayey layer with a large amount of peaty material preserved within it, below 0.55m downcore. The locations of all boreholes were recorded by dGPS, with OD equivalent to around 0.5m downcore depth.

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4.3.5.

The working hypothesis in the field was that due to the close similarity in elevation between elements of the intertidal walls and this peat horizon, it may be possible to infer a date for the construction of the walls. Samples Tr1-4/50 (SUERC-42567) and Tr1-4/55 (SUERC-42568) were submitted to Historic Scotland through the call-off contract for radiocarbon dating held by SUERC. Within the context of available sealevel models and palaeogeographic reconstructions it was thought a likely date would either be from the last few centuries or up to a Bronze Age date. However, the peat dates to the earliest Holocene forming prior to human activity in the Islands (Table 7). It is likely therefore that any sediment accumulation for the last 10,000 years except the contemporary seabed muds has been eroded by tidal action.

4.3.6.

Calibrated Age (cal BC) (2ı) 9229 – 9119 (52.0%) 9070 – 9060 (0.9%) Peat: humic SUERC0.1 9643 ± 27 Tr1.4/50cm 9007 – 8915 acid dated 42567 (36.0%) 8900 – 8849 (6.5%) 10027 – 9908 (32.6%) 9896 – 9745 SUERCPeat: humic Tr1.4/55cm 0.05 10135 ± 28 (55.5%) 42568 acid dated 9726 – 9677 (7.2%) Table 7: AMS radiocarbon dates from the buried peat at Hartavagh, indicating early Holocene dates for the accumulation of the peat. Sample ID Core Location Material mOD Radiocarbon Age (BP)

į13C

-29.0‰

-26.1‰

South Uist

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4.3.7.

Wider examination of sediment exposures around the inlet may suggest uplift of marine and intertidal sediments has occurred. An exposed section of finely laminated clayey, water-lain sediments, overlain by bedded and inter-bedded sandy sediments, which in turn is overlain by a well-developed peat with some evidence of iron pan, is located in the west of the inlet, exposed by tidal action. The angular boulders which litter the intertidal zone are the source material for the intertidal structures appears to abut or be embedded in the laminated fine-grained sediments. dGPS survey indicates the laminated sediments at the base of the section are c. 2m above OD. If these sediments represent laminated marine/brackish sediment to bedded and inter-bedded intertidal sands, which is covered by peat, a degree of isostatic uplift may be responsible for ensuring that Holocene sediments now buried in the intertidal zone were continuously eroded by tidal action. Detailed laboratory analysis would be required to clarify this hypothesis.

4.3.8.

Plate 1: Exposed section of possibly marine/brackish to intertidal to terrestrial sediments. The thin white layer above the boulders is located c. 2m OD in Hartavagh inlet. Scale is 1m.

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4.3.9.

Within the context of available relative sea-level models (e.g. Shennan et al. 2006, Jordan et al. 2010) the dated peats, effectively sea-level limiting points, lie well above modelled early Holocene sea level (Figure 15).
Hebrides (7) Shennan et al. (2006)

5 Tr1-4/50 0 TR1-4/55

-5

RSL (m)

-10

-15

-20

-25

-30 0 5000
years BP

10000

15000

Figure 15: Dated buried peats from the Hartavagh core with relative sea level models (redrawn from Shennan et al. 2006): sea level index points from the Hebrides, green crosses, and sea level limiting points, red crosses.

4.3.10. The palaeogeographic inference, without additional data-points from the region, suggests that the Hartavagh inlet was a small stream during the late Pleistocene / early Holocene where topographic hollows filled with peat. The shoreline, based solely on current bathymetry of at least c. -24m (an estimation of HAT c. 11000 BP) (Shennan et al. 2006: Hebrides 7 model), may have been around 1km northeast from the coring locations (Figure 16). The inlet would have looked more like a shallow embayment with the coring location some way up the stream valley. With rising Holocene sea level, the inlet was increasingly inundated, the rate of which was perhaps offset by some isostatic uplift. The effect of which may have been to erode overlying Holocene sediments of more direct archaeological interest.

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Figure 16: Inferred palaeo-shorelines based on general local bathymetry relative to borehole survey containing the dated peats within the Hartavagh inlet (Table 8). Sample location is highlighted (brown circle) (Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013; Contains data from Garmin BlueChart © 2013).

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4.4. 4.4.1.

AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY & PHOTOGRAMMETRY In addition to the aerial photographic survey of the Western Isles during 2011, a further AP flight was undertaken over Upper Loch Torridon on 25th July 2012 in conjunction with the RCAHMS aerial survey schedule. Around 1600 photographs were taken of a wide variety of geomorphological and archaeological features around Upper Loch Torridon and the surrounding region. The aim was to provide mapping and photogrammetry datasets for investigating and recording archaeologically significant features such as intertidal structures, including a series of yairs, as well as raised beaches, post-glacial river terraces and other landscape features of interest. The principle aim was to record in detail the Lub Dubh-Aird promontory in support of reporting and dissemination. Yairs are particularly notable intertidal features in Upper Loch Torridon with two very large examples in the NE and SE of the head of the loch. The largest lying adjacent to the Torridon Hotel on the southern bank has a diameter of around 180m. The flight was very successful providing detailed coverage of most of the Upper Loch Torridon coastline and littoral archaeology and geomorphology. The flight path also took the aircraft over Raasay Harbour which was also photographed (Table 8).
Features of interest Lithic assemblage at beach Post-glacial River terraces

4.4.2. 4.4.3.

4.4.4.

4.4.5.

Location Applecross, Wester Ross Balgy, Upper Loch Torridon (ULT) Lub Dubh-Aird, ULT Mol Mor, ULT Diabeg. ULT Raasay, Skye Sheildaig, ULT

Early Mesolithic flint scatters on beaches, rock shelter Post-glacial peat layers within fluvial terraces Raised beach Intertidal peat containing Mesolithic flint assemblage Large yair & site of Early Mesolithic and Upper Palaeolithic assemblage Torridon House, ULT Small fluvial delta Torridon, ULT Yairs Table 8: Major locations photographed during aerial survey to Upper Loch Torridon with RCAHMS (25/07/2012).

4.4.6.

The opportunity to process photogrammetric models was taken and a number of locations provided excellent results for disseminating landscape-scale models of archaeologically interesting locations as well as particular features of interest within their immediate landscape setting, including nearshore underwater areas where lighting conditions, wave and water quality allow (Table 9).

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Location Raasay Harbour

Features of archaeological or palaeoenvironmental interest Intertidal peat containing Mesolithic flint assemblage

Notes The peat horizons investigated by Ballin et al. 2010 lie beneath the strandline at the head of the embayment, left of the pier. Fluvial terraces are primary sources of lithic and other prehistoric material in other areas of the UK, warranting further investigation

Spatial Scale of model (m) 102

# of photographs in model (used/total) 102/112

Balgy, ULT

Post-glacial River terraces

103

81/101

Lub DubhAird, ULT Torridon Hotel, ULT Sheildaig, ULT Shieldaig peninsula, ULT

Early Mesolithic flint scatters on beaches, rock shelter Large yair Large yair & site of Early Mesolithic and Upper Palaeolithic assemblage Post-glacial raised beaches

102 102 102 103

91/93

11/11 29/29

Working draft. Due to the scale of the model and the requirements of oblique aerial photography there are a number of occlusions looking seaward within this model. Table 9: Photogrammetry models produced in 2012.

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4.4.7.

An example of the Balgy 3D photogrammetry model is shown in Figure 17. Additional examples will be produced for the project website (http://blogs.wessexarch.co.uk/ohccmapp/).

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Figure 17: Still of a 3D photogrammetry model of the River Balgy terraces in Upper Loch Torridon, looking south (made using Autodesk 123D Catch).

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4.5. 4.5.1.

PROSPECTING FOR PALAEOLANDSCAPE POTENTIAL In order to provide a basis for hypothesis building, prospection and hypothesistesting, palaeogeographic models incorporating a variety of parameters are valuable tools in lieu of known sites or reported materials. Incorporating relative sea-level models, an archaeological framework, seabed bathymetry and ideally sub-bottom geophysical survey data for areas of sediment accumulation, estimates of palaeoshorelines can be developed. Publicly-available Geophysical Datasets During Year 1 (WA ref: 79940.01) a number of geophysical datasets were identified that when processed would be publicly available for research purposes. Two of the three datasets have been acquired for further assessment. The Stornoway Approaches & Loch Erisort dataset was judged to be located too far off shore for easily assessing palaeolandscape potential, at this time. (Figure 18). The northwest Lewis coastal study area is a combined dataset of offshore and inshore multibeam bathymetry surveys gathered by MS and BGS. WA C&M has been provided with an as-yet-unreleased copy of the BGS inshore survey of east Loch Roag by MS. This inshore portion is of particular archaeological interest for examining prehistoric palaeolandscape potential in the Islands due to its proximity to major archaeological areas such as Calanais and associated palaeoenvironmental records which suggest human activity as early as 8000 BP (Edwards 1996, Edwards 2004). The West of Lewis bathymetric survey conducted by Marine Scotland12 is similarly located offshore however, an additional inshore element was gathered by the BGS extending along a mid-channel portion of East Loch Roag; this latter inshore element has not been released through the MSi website, but can be obtained on request. This inshore portion is of particular archaeological interest for examining prehistoric palaeolandscape potential in the area due to its proximity to major archaeological areas such as Calanais and associated palaeoenvironmental records which suggest human activity as early as 8000 BP (Edwards & Whittington 1997, Edwards 2004). The second major study area is the Sound of Harris (SA7, Year 1). The bathymetry in the Sound of Harris is mainly LiDAR-based and as such abuts seamlessly with the coastline. The West of Lewis multibeam survey is at a significant distance from the shore thus restricting archaeological assessments to earlier prehistoric periods. The Sound of Harris data is therefore of great potential value for assessing all periods of archaeology and more recent history.

4.5.2.

4.5.3.

4.5.4.

4.5.5.

4.5.6.

West of Lewis 2010 datasets: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/marine/science/MSInteractive/datatype/Bathymetry/data (last accessed 29/08/2012)

12

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Figure 18: Bathymetry datasets assessed by WA C&M. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013

4.5.7.

A smaller area of the Sound of Harris was surveyed through the Civil Hydrography project using multibeam sonar. The largely scoured bedrock of most of this survey area provides a maximum estimate for palaeogeography, which requires some interpretation for areas of the seabed covered by sand waves and other sedimentary features. This survey area was used to derive methodology and workflow for applying to the larger study areas. A model of c. 8000 years ago, during the Mesolithic period was created based on several parameters (Table 10). The addition of a tidal range parameter has been included to align the analysis with the existing objectives of OHCCMAPP, particularly for the theme of Marine Resource Exploitation. Instead of focussing upon a single value for mean sea level and therefore a defined palaeoshoreline, the resulting models are aimed at identifying environmental zones. In this case an estimate of the intertidal range, terrestrial and always submerged areas is made, based on the parameters in Table 10. This may be of particular use for developing prospection models that incorporate particularly resource gathering behaviours in prehistory but also during more recent times.

4.5.8.

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4.5.9.

Isostacy parameters are not currently incorporated into the model specifically, due to a lack of local and regional values over post-glacial and Holocene timescales (cf. Jordan et al. 2010). Models for the UK indicate the study area is on the fringes of isostatic readjustment (e.g. Gehrels 2010; Rennie and Hansom 2011) indicate the southern margin of the Sound of Harris has been experiencing relative land rise at a rate of 0.2 mm/year during the last 1000 years, uplift is reportedly stable, presently. The local icesheet over the Harris Mountains as well as the nearby West Highland icesheet are likely to have exerted some isostatic influence during the Holocene.
Parameter used 8000 BP/ 7000 cal BC -10 m -20 m Source Gregory et al. (2005); Bishop & Church (2010) Shennan et al. (2006) Lambeck (1993) Notes The Mesolithic dated material from Northton, Harris on the northwest portion of the survey area.

Parameter Date

Relative Sealevel (mOD) Relative Sealevel (mOD)

A proxy for a minimum relative sea level.

A proxy for a more conservative relative sea level to gauge the influence of RSL variability upon palaeogeographic interpretation. Tidal Range ±2.5 m National based on HAT/LAT Stornoway: (www.pol.ac.uk) Oceanographic http://www.pol.ac.uk/ntslf/tgi/portinfo.php?port=stor.h Centre tml Local Chart -2.71 National based on Stornoway: Datum – OD Oceanographic http://www.pol.ac.uk/ntslf/tgi/portinfo.php?port=stor.h Stornoway Centre tml Table 10: Parameters used within Sound of Harris test palaeogeography model and

Data Management 4.5.10. The vertical component of the datasets have been corrected to Ordnance Datum (original surveys are corrected to Chart Datum) to permit calibration to existing relative sea-level models (e.g. Shennan et al. 2006, Bradley et al. 2011) but especially local reconstructions abutting the study area from Northton (Jordan et al. 2010) providing a meaningful local-regional scale assessment of palaeolandscapes potential from these bathymetry surveys. 4.5.11. For the purposes of informing this pilot project, the assessment of the Sound of Harris multibeam bathymetry focussed on identifying major submerged landforms including valleys, partially infilled palaeo-channels, inundated islets and palaeoshoreline reconstructions and identifying areas of inundated coastal land. 4.5.12. The resolution of the West of Lewis multibeam bathymetry is around 1m, the LiDAR around 1.5m cell-size. This is more than sufficient for providing high-resolution geomorphological assessments in support of future ground-testing and national research objectives13. Geotiffs were exported for analysis in ArcGIS 10, with a cellsize of 3m. Multibeam Bathymetry (SA7: Sound of Harris, SA16) 4.5.13. The influence of substantial variability between RSL models is clear from the large areas of seabed within -20m in the survey area, i.e. the distribution of yellow zones compared to -10 (± 2.5) m, the orange zone. The interpretation of this and
13

ScARF Marine & Maritime panel report http://www.scottishheritagehub.com/content/6-challengesand-future-directions (last accessed 29/08/2012)

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subsequent models is based upon Shennan et al. 2006 values in lieu of more precise and locally based models for the early Holocene.

Figure 19: Preliminary multibeam bathymetry for Sound of Harris palaeogeographic test model, c. 8000 BP. Northton is shown by the green circle. The dashed line indicates current MLWS; Green zone in the bathymetry dataset indicates terrestrial land above MHWS; the orange zone indicates the intertidal zone based upon RSL of 10m (Shennan et al. 2006); the Yellow zone indicates RSL at -20m based on Lambeck (1993), without a tidal range; the blue zone indicates bathymetry greater than -20m OD. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013

4.5.14. In areas where seabed sediments are dominant such as in the area south of Northton and south of Leverburgh a judgment-led interpretation of the intertidal zone is made, in some cases it is not possible to interpret the palaeogeography. The mouth of Leverburgh harbour contains several examples of inundated islands that
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may have been fully exposed during this time including a large island east of Ensay. Additionally, a small archipelago is indicated northwest of Ensay. Access to Leverburgh would have been made through a large marine inlet perhaps indicating a major seaway into this part of the Outer Hebrides at the shortest crossing from Skye. At low tides it is suggested that it was possible to exploit a very large area near Northton with a large intertidal zone extending to Ensay and perhaps Killegray. 4.5.15. Several isolation basins and stream channels are indicated along the Harris coast providing areas where sediments may survive for archaeological and palaeoenvironmental investigation. On a larger scale, the substantial volumes of sediment accumulated in the lee of the major topographic features in the Sound of Harris, typically on the southeast protected from the dominant W-E flow through the Sound (Ramsay and Brampton 200014). These areas of seabed sediment represent key areas for deploying sub-bottom seismic geophysical surveys to investigate the potential for preserved in situ Holocene sediments.

14

http://www.snh.org.uk/pdfs/publications/research/150.pdf (last accessed 12/02/2013).

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Figure 20: Interpreted palaeogeographic model for the Sound of Harris c. 8000 BP in the vicinity of Northton, Harris. See the legend of Figure 19 for details. The purple outline indicates the interpreted extent of the intertidal zone. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013

Bathymetric LiDAR (SA7: Sound of Harris) 4.5.16. The bathymetric LiDAR dataset reaches to depths of around 30m, by combining the multibeam and LiDAR surveys together it was possible to achieve total coverage of most of the Sound of Harris between the Minch and Berneray and Ensay. Occlusions are typically restricted to the summits of the larger hills and some coastal areas. 4.5.17. It was planned to undertake a number of historical geomorphological scenarios. Due to the dominance of sandbars obscuring the southwestern half of the survey area

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and the relatively slow rate of sea level rise, differences between historical models are too small to provide detailed analysis. A Viking period model c. 800AD was created to provide some context to the known archaeological record on many of the larger islands in the Sound of Harris (Table 12).
Parameter Relative Sea Level (MHWS) Tidal Range (www.pol.ac.uk) Parameter used 2.11 mOD ±2.5 m Source Jordan et al. (2010) National Oceanographic Centre MCA (2004) Notes Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction from Northton. Approximation based on HAT/LAT Stornoway: http://www.pol.ac.uk/ntslf/tgi/portinfo.php?port=stor.h tml Derived from local datums at Bays Loch and Leverburgh: http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/sound_of_harris.pdf

Bathymetry -2.93 m Survey Chart Datum – OD Stornoway Table 11: Parameters used for palaeogeography models for periods outlined in Table 12

4.5.18. Based on regional relative sea level reconstructions described above, generalised coastal models have been derived from the relative sea-level ranges and dates from the corresponding ScARF panel reports, and dates for earliest microcharcoal evidence for human activity around 7000 - 6000 cal. BC) in the Outer Hebrides (e.g. Edwards 2004)(Table 12,Figure 21).
Model Mesolithic A Date Range (BC/AD) -7000 Bathymetry (MRSL mOD) -10 MHWS (m OD) Source

Shennan et al. (2006), Gregory et al. (2005); Bishop & Church (2010) Mesolithic B -7000 -8 Peltier et al. (2002), Gregory et al. (2005); Bishop & Church (2010). Mesolithic C -7000 -5 ‘highstand scenario’, e.g. including contribution from Storegga tsunami ” 6100 BC. Gregory et al. (2005); Bishop & Church (2010). Mesolithic D -7000 -15 ‘lowstand scenario’. Gregory et al. (2005); Bishop & Church (2010) Early Neolithic -3800 -3.89 -1.39 Jordan et al. (2010) Late Neolithic -2500 -2.39 0.11 Jordan et al. (2010) Bronze Age -2000 -1.89 0.61 Jordan et al. (2010) Iron Age -700 -1.14 1.36 Jordan et al. (2010) Viking 800 -0.63 1.87 +0.2 mm / a-1 (Hansom & Rennie 2011) Today 2000 -0.39 2.11 Jordan et al. (2010) Table 12: Palaeogeography parameters for selected archaeological periods.

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TIme BC/AD Ͳ8000 Ͳ6000 Ͳ4000 Ͳ2000 0 2000 10 5 0 Ͳ5 Ͳ10 Ͳ15 R =0.7433
2

Ͳ20 Ͳ25

Figure 21: RSL models for prehistoric palaeogeography in the Sound of Harris. The trend line is a second order polynomial function, error bars highlight the 5m tidal range incorporated into the models.

4.5.19. At a regional level several thematic points of interpretation can be made based on these models. These are developed by Period below (see Appendix II). Today 4.5.20. In order to test the representativity of the parameters used, particularly the distribution of terrestrial, intertidal and marine biotopes a’ Present Day’ scenario was produced that could be assessed relative to aerial photography and field data. 4.5.21. Overall the model replicates the configuration of the present coast well (Figure 22). The resolution of the LiDAR is such that tidal escarpments along the backbeach are visible providing a visual means of validating the representation of the intertidal zone (Figure 23). The 5m value used throughout is an approximation of the HAT/LAT range in the region (values for Leverburgh and Stornoway), and therefore extends beyond MHWS (which also tends to be digitised around larger islands and prominent coastal features, and potentially variations in coastal geomorphology between the 2004 survey date and the creation of the coastline polygons. Overall, this approximation represents the intertidal zone closely from APs (not presented due to licencing restrictions) and field observations. Intertidal skerries and small islets with vegetated areas above the intertidal zone are replicated across the model.

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Figure 22: Selected areas highlighting the representation of the modern configuration of the Sound of Harris. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013

Figure 23: Northeast Ensay, the distribution of the modern coast and the modelled (HAT/LAT) intertidal zone agree well at the edge of the model. Some occlusions, gaps in the data exist. The resolution of the data is sufficient to record coastal dunes, dykes and other linear boundaries on Ensay. The merging of the multibeam sonar and LiDAR

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datasets is visible in the upper right of the image, due to differences between the cellsize resolutions in the rasters (Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013)

4.5.22. The ability of the model to replicate the well-defined intertidal zone within the vicinity of known archaeological features is good. Dun Innisgall15, near Carminish on the Harris coast is located on a small islet within a large intertidal area; which is represented well by the model (Figure 24), in spite of several large occlusions in the intertidal zone. This intertidal zone expanded during the Neolithic, based upon the models presented below.

Figure 24: Dun Innisgall in its present day context; a small islet within intertidal zone at Carminish, Harris (Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013).

4.5.23. Distinct coastal geomorphology such as the coastal dunes near Taraloch, Berneray are mapped in detail by the LiDAR dataset, the extent of the nearshore sandbars and skerries is shown as intertidal (at HAT), the islet, Vaitam, is depicted as “terrestrial” as depicted on navigational charts (e.g. Garmin BlueChart) (Figure 25).

15

http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/10513/details/harris+carminish+dun+innisgall/ (last accessed 12/02/2013).

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Figure 25: Modelled coastal geomorphology at Taraloch (Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013).

Mesolithic (c. 7000 BC) 4.5.24. As Garrow and Sturt (2011) have recently discussed for the western seaways of the British Isles, the enduring features of the palaeogeography are the maritime configuration of islands and relatively sheltered interconnected seas. At a regionalscale they have discussed the feasibility of Late Mesolithic and Early Neolithic maritime connectivity. With the suite of palaeogeography models developed below for the Sound of Harris we can apply these concepts directly to our study area. 4.5.25. Based upon the earliest dates for the Lower Mesolithic horizons at Northton, of c. 7060 – 6650 cal. BC (Bishop & Church 2010) the parameters of ‘Mesolithic A’ refer to the ‘Hebrides’ RSL model from Shennan et al. (2006), c. -10m RSL mOD at c.7000 BC. Further iterations of the model, representing -8m OD (Mesolithic B), a highstand sea-level scenario at -5m OD (Mesolithic C), and a lowstand sea-level scenario at -15m OD (Mesolithic D) which synthesis the potential effect of lower modelled sea-levels proposed at various values in Lambeck (1993) and Peltier et al. (2002). See an overview of the variation in Holocene RSL models in Jordan et al. (2010). 4.5.26. Submerged peats in the vicinity of Quinish and Forvath, Pabbay, and Manish beach, Ensay (both outside the survey coverage) provide some indication of local resources for future study (Ritchie 198016, Ritchie 1985). Calibration of the Pabbay dates for example using the IntCal 09 dataset indicates submerged peats at depths of around 2.8m below ‘mean tide level’ from Quinish (Ritchie 1985) date to between 7530 and 6450 cal. BC (2ı) and some 80m seaward of the low tide mark; intertidal peat from Quinish beach dates to between 3100 – 2900 cal. BC at around 0.5m RSL (Figure
16

http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/7906/1/Machair3.pdf (last access 11/02/2013).

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26). The older dates are directly comparable to recent dates from Northton (Gregory et al. 2005; Bishop & Church 2010) and provide limiting dates to regional relative sea level models (Shennan et al. 2002, 2006) (Figure 27).

Figure 26: Calibrated radiocarbon dates (2ı) from submerged and intertidal peats Pabbay, Sound of Harris (Ritchie 1985) (IntCal 09, OxCal 4.1).
Ͳ8000 0 Ͳ0.5 Ͳ1 Ͳ7000 Ͳ6000 Ͳ5000 Ͳ4000 Ͳ3000 Ͳ2000 Ͳ1000 0

mRSL

Ͳ1.5 Ͳ2 Ͳ2.5 Ͳ3

Date(cal.BC)

Figure 27: Calibrated radiocarbon date envelopes from submerged and intertidal peats Pabbay, Sound of Harris vs. Depth (Ritchie 1985) (IntCal 09, OxCal 4.1).

4.5.27. Appendix II presents four palaeogeography scenarios from the Sound of Harris model. Models A and B are based upon the most recent RSL models although they incorporate very few data points for the Outer Hebrides (see Shennan et al. 2002, 2006, Hebrides (7) model). At a broad-scale the most striking feature of the bathymetry models is the shallow rocky seabed that characterises most of the central and southern areas of the Sound (overlain by considerable expanses of sand bars and sand waves between Berneray and North Uist) suggests that large areas in the mid-to early-Holocene were dry land linked by substantial intertidal zones. 4.5.28. Due to the significant volumes of seabed sediment in the southwest of the study area, uncertainties in the configuration of the coastline exist. In more scoured areas a maximum palaeo-topography can be discussed within these models. Bearing this in mind a notable difference between early Holocene Mesolithic scenarios and middle-late Holocene Neolithic / Bronze Age models is a rapid increase in sea level rise then slowing, respectively; which is indicate by Eustatic sea level models (e.g. Fairbanks 1985). The influence of sea level change as postulated as a consequence of several key events in the northern hemisphere in the early Holocene (see Weninger et al. 2008: table 4) are roughly contemporary to the

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Mesolithic artefact layers at Northton (c. 6500 – 6000 BC). Effective at a range of timescales, major globally-significant events like the breaching of Lake Agassiz and the transfer of millions of litres of meltwater into the North Atlantic may have seen an inundation of the Mesolithic intertidal zone across the northern hemisphere. At this time the Northton site was several metres above the high tide. Using Mesolithic C as a guide to the effects of marked marine inundation (exaggerated at a jump of 3m between the B and C model and providing a general means of assessing change across the study area), major island features such as Ensay, Killegray and Berneray become more defined, with marked incursions into coastal land. 4.5.29. Rather than a catastrophic impact to individuals living on the land such as that argued to have occurred during the Storegga tsunami on the east and north coasts of Scotland and wider North Sea basin (‘Doggerand’) at 6100 BC, the process of inundation during the breaching of Lake Agassiz was slower, over months (Weninger et al. 2008). Arguably there was a significant loss of coastal dry land, but this may have been replaced by substantial areas of intertidal land and consequently increased coastal resources and greater penetration of seaways into the interior. Arguably a more favourable and varied landscape for Mesolithic subsistence strategies. From a taphonomic perspective the relative increase in the rate of marine transgression following the Lake Agassiz breach as occurring over months, may lead to favourable preservation conditions as inundated coastal archaeology is impacted by tides and waves for a shorter period of time than experienced through eustatic sea level change alone. These factors are key considerations and elements for future prospection and field testing in submerged contexts. Preservation conditions clearly do exist with dated examples of submerged peat from the Islands which have been preserved since at least 7500 BC (Ritchie 1985, Figure 26), with post-glacial peats recovered from Hartavagh from a more inland setting which is now in the intertidal zone. 4.5.30. Bathymetric deeps are formed in faults, particularly the strait between Ensay and Killegray, Caolas Sgairidh but also in smaller faults off the North Uist coast (Figure 28). The considerable complexity of the fault topography provides considerable variation in biotopes. Substantial lengths of the intertidal zone provide marine resources such as molluscs and embayment with narrow mouths provide locations for fish traps. Intertidal shelves and beaches may also provide seasonal opportunities for hunting seals (see OHCCMAPP Year 1 report). A significant element for building hypotheses about opportunities for Mesolithic activity is the connectivity of the palaeogeography. The faults form linking seaways affording significant accessibility, and efficient transportation, by boat.

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Figure 28: Fault topography in southeast of the Sound of Harris (Mesolithic B scenario). Dashed black line represents modern coastline. Note the complex networks of islands and intertidal areas linked by narrow seaways; providing considerable coastal resources and accessibility by boat (Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013).

4.5.31. Important questions about the distribution of Mesolithic archaeological material can be postulated from these models. The three sites classified as ‘Mesolithic’ in the CNE-Siar SMR: Northton17, Traigh na Berie18 near Cnip, and Rubha Ban19 (by association with Traigh na Berie) on Eriskay share several characteristics. They are preserved within coastal aeolian geomorphology and relate to middens. In situ lithics recovered from relatively secure contexts at Northton date to c. 6500 – 6000 cal. BC. Whether this represents a specific preference for coastal aeolian geomorphology during the Mesolithic or a bias in preservation conditions found within dunes is unclear. An additional geographical factor is that Northton and Traigh na Berie are on the west coast.

17 18

http://www.cne-siar.gov.uk/smr/SingleResult.aspx?uid=MWE10502 (last accessed 31/01/2013). http://www.cne-siar.gov.uk/smr/SingleResult.aspx?uid=MWE4101 (last accessed 31/01/2013). 19 http://www.cne-siar.gov.uk/smr/SingleResult.aspx?uid=MWE141038 (last accessed 31/01/2013).

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4.5.32. Hypotheses on Mesolithic access to the Outer Hebrides c. 7000 BC require a number of factors: transport across open, deep water by boat, whether by eastern or southern routes. If seasonal return voyages were necessary to avoid winter conditions (which may have been colder than present day averages, cf. Garrow and Sturt 2011) the boat technology may have to be repairable or replaceable using the Islands resources. The distribution of large trees suitable for logboat building in a birch-dominated mid-Holocene Outer Hebrides (<3% Pinus and Quercus) (Tipping 1996, Edwards 2004) suggests a relatively small pool of species able to grow large enough trunks represented in pollen sequences (although individual examples may arguably have provided suitable raw materials). Mammals with large hides for coracles or currachs may arguably have been relatively restricted to a few species. Seals (Grey seals providing larger hides than Harbour Seals) are seasonally accessible during moulting and breeding, and also reportedly geographically disparate in their modern distribution in the Islands (Grey Seals preferring the west coast, see OHCCMAPP Year 1 report). 4.5.33. Why Northton? Access by boat during the Mesolithic was clearly possible, but may have been seasonal, infrequent and low intensity (OHCCMAPP Year 1 report). Does the preservation of Mesolithic sites on the west coast reflect preservation bias in aeolian dune contexts? Based upon the palaeogeography models perhaps the more pertinent question is, why not Northton? The enduring feature of the Mesolithic palaeogeography models along the northern fringe of the Sound of Harris is a wide marine seaway, The Obbe, passing Rodel, Leverburgh and Ensay linking the Minch to the Atlantic. With wide low-lying coastal plains to the west fringed by the higher ground of Uist and Berneray and the Ensay and Killegray Hills, the narrow “Strait of Saghay Beg” provided direct access through the Outer Hebrides during the midHolocene. Northton, located in the lee of the Toe-Head peninsula afforded clear views west across the Atlantic and south across the complex network of intertidal islands and narrow seaways on the edge of the World.

Photo 15: Panorama of Northton, Harris looking west – east; Toe-head to the left, the mountains of Harris to the right. Note the rocky coastal geology overlain by veneers of glacial till, Holocene sand and peat. The shallow nearshore waters would have provided a wider coastal fringe during around c. 6500 BC (WA C&M 2011, made using AutoStitch.net).

4.5.34. Direct journeys between the Harris coast at Northton to the nearest point of Skye (Waternish) is at least 30 km (if uninterrupted journeys were preferred, (see Garrow and Sturt 2011 for discussion); crossing the Minch would have required at least a portion of the voyage of over 20 km across open water. Depending upon the ebb and flow of the tide, northwards or southwards displacement is likely to have carried craft some distance from the direct line. 4.5.35. The palaeogeography models provide an initial basis for prospecting for early prehistoric material. The environs of Leverburgh provide an obvious focus. Located on an ecotone; the marine environment, large bodies of freshwater lochs within a
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system of valleys linking the east, west and south coast of Harris, Leverburgh is an attractive proposition for future research projects. A submarine shelf which appears to have accumulated sediment in the lee of a rocky headland may also provide a location for investigating submerged prehistoric potential. The seaward edge of the shelf is sharply defined in the bathymetry, in a similar way to the Bouldnor Cliff formation in the Solent, southern England (Momber 2011). Erosion by currents passing through the Sound of Harris may also aid detection by archaeological surveys (if safe diving conditions exist) (Appendix III). Sheltered coves with large areas of submarine preservation of sediments also exist on Ensay, Killegray, and Berneray (with preserved submerged peat recovered from Pabbay and difficult diving conditions noted, Ritchie 1985). These areas could be investigated by anchored platforms for recovering geotechnical cores and possibly small, shallowdraft boats at high-tide for sub-bottom geophysical surveys. Neolithic (c. 3800 & 2500 BC) 4.5.36. Reconstructed trends in MHWS from samples from nearby Northton and Horgabhost on the west Harris coast (Jordan et al. 2010) provide local context for investigating palaeogeography in the Sound of Harris from the Neolithic to more recently. This local RSL model provides a more robust estimate or past sea level both spatially and temporally; several of the index points coincide with key archaeological periods, which are reflected in the choice of model parameters. Recorded Neolithic sites and artefacts within the SMR and NMRS are relatively sparse for the area. 4.5.37. Whereas the Mesolithic scenarios depict a palaeolandscape where seaways and the maritime environment were developing, by the Early Neolithic, c.3800 BC (with activity at Northton also dated to around this time20) the Sound of Harris was open across a broad front between the Minch and the Atlantic. The extent of terrestrial biotopes is indicated seaward of present day, which is supported by dated peat recovered from beneath the Quinish beach on Pabbay, calibrated to c. 3000 BC (Ritchie 1985, Figure 26, Figure 27). The subsequent encroachment of the intertidal zone to the position of Neolithic and development of the modern beaches over them provides an easily accessible resource for investigating Neolithic palaeolandscapes in the Islands. Anecdotal reports of buried peats in the intertidal zone have been made to OHCCMAPP from Lewis, Barra and the Uists in addition to those previously recorded (e.g. Ritchie 1985) and should provide the basis for future research programs into Prehistoric palaeolandscapes with integrated palaeoenvironmental analysis and underwater surveys. As discussed in OHCCMAPP year 1. 4.5.38. The inundation of the Neolithic coastline (as perhaps evidenced by Chambered Cairns such as Geirislett, North Uist which are now located at the back of the modern beach and affected by the high tide) may lead to an underestimation of, or negative bias in the preservation of evidence for, coastal and marine activity and subsistence during the Neolithic and potentially more recently. Recent palaeodiet analysis from wild and domesticated fauna also indicates significant complexity in the interpretation of ‘marine’ diets during later prehistory induced by local geological, pedological and archaeological factors (Jones et al. 2012). A generalised view of prehistoric subsistence strategies especially an absence of marine resource exploitation is likely to be too simplistic, and locally variable.

20

http://www.cne-siar.gov.uk/smr/SingleResult.aspx?uid=MWE10502 (last accessed 13/02/2013).

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4.5.39. As a rule of thumb the Early Neolithic scenario suggests that the modern MLWS line roughly compares to the Early Neolithic MHWS. In areas of shallow gradient the loss of coastal dry land may be considerable (i.e. the entire extent of the intertidal zone), e.g. around 300m at Carminish (Appendix III). Bronze Age (c. 2000 BC) & Iron Age (c. 700 BC) 4.5.40. With a maritime landscape developed by the Neolithic in the Sound of Harris the palaeogeography of the region became increasingly similar to that of today during later prehistory. Bronze Age sites on Ensay are located in the dunes on the northwest coast with clusters of sites around Berneray and North Uist located near to the coast. By the Iron Age substantial structures such as duns are located specifically on coastal promontories and islets (such as Dun Innisgall), which until the Neolithic were terrestrial landscapes with the sea at least 150m away. 4.5.41. Palaeodiet studies have argued for a reduction in marine resource subsistence during this time however this is likely to be complex (Jones et al. 2012; see above) and coastal and marine species have been recovered from archaeological contexts during these periods (see MRR, Table 16, OHCCMAPP Year 1). A key feature absent from the archaeological record is boats, a prerequisite for human activity in the Islands since the Mesolithic. Viking (AD 800) 4.5.42. A series of assumed high status burials of Norse individuals are reported form several of the islands in the Sound of Harris, including Killegray and Ensay with Thor’s hammers, scales and a variety of other grave goods indicated to have been placed with the bodies (although many of the actual grave goods are reported as lost). 4.5.43. A fundamentally maritime cultural period, the archaeological record indicates the use of islands as at least places for burial. Islands arguably in a very similar configuration to that of today. 4.6. AREAS OF POTENTIAL PALAEOLANDSCAPE PRESERVATION (APPENDIX III) Context By undertaking the palaeogeographical reconstructions it is clear that with the available datasets and RSL models there are distinct areas within the Sound of Harris that may preserve in situ sediments, in locations which may have been intertidal or terrestrial environments since the Mesolithic (Appendix III: Areas of Potential Palaeolandscape Preservation in the Sound of Harris). Due to the pattern of currents that pass through the Sound there is considerable spatial variation in the accumulation of seabed sediments. This is most notable when comparing the large sand banks and sand waves in the southwest between Berneray and North Uist, and the exposed bedrock to the east of the bathymetry survey area. The northwest to south flow of currents between the Atlantic and the Minch leads to a pattern of seabed sediment accumulation in the lee of headlands and islands, typically on the southeast side. The distribution of these leeward sediment accumulations provides a target for prospecting for preserved Holocene intertidal or terrestrial sediments. A range of inundated embayments and shelves have been identified from the bathymetry dataset which could be investigated by future projects.

4.6.1.

4.6.2.

4.6.3.

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4.6.4.

Inundated platforms Bagh a’ Chaolais, Harris For example, Bagh a’ Chaolais, to the west of Leverburgh is protected by Rubha Charnain, leading to what appears to be the deposition of sediments on a leeward shelf in the embayment. The currents passing across Rubha Charnain, have created a shelf which may have an actively eroding face aiding observation of in situ sediments by archaeologists. This represents a similar environmental scenario to that found at Bouldnor Cliff in the Solent. The palaeogeography models suggest there may be potential for terrestrial or intertidal sediments from at least the early Holocene contemporary with the activity at Northton. Inundated coastal plains Dun Innisgall, Carminish, Harris Several areas of the model highlight locations which are now in the intertidal zone but may previously have been flat, coastal land. Locations such as Carminish and the intertidal zone around Dun Inisgall were selected for their island or promontory topography for the siting of Iron Age duns (Lenfert 2011). Prior to the Neolithic, these areas are indicated to have been well above the tidal range and dryland. Aird Innis, Loch Amhlasaraigh, North Uist Relatively complex coastal topography with narrow fjords wide intertidal areas and enclosed lagoonal basins in this area provide opportunities for investigating the preservation of terrestrial and intertidal sediments in these areas which may provide local palaeoenvironmental resources, such as at Hartavagh for piecing together the post-glacial development of the region. Inundated embayments An Struth, Leverburgh The mouth of An Struth linking the lagoonal and lacustrine environments of An t-Ob and Loch Steisevat at Leverburgh to the Sound of Harris is relatively shallow, and appears to represent a sill separating the basins. Marine transgression is suggested sometime between the Mesolithic and Early Neolithic by the models. The coverage of the LiDAR dataset is partial across the channel. Future research aimed at understanding the development of marine transgression and the wider archaeology and palaeogeography of terrestrial and inundated coastal landscapes around Leverburgh and An Struth during the Holocene. Ensay, Killegray The larger islands in the Sound off the Harris coast Ensay and Killegray display a number of inundated embayments particularly on their northern coasts. Archaeology from at least the Bronze Age is recorded in the SMR from Ensay. The strait between Ensay and Killegray is formed by a faultline and is likely to have been an enduring deep throughout the Holocene (Appendix III: Caolas Sgairidh). The profiles on the north and south of Killegray exhibit shallow gradients and may preserve in situ sands or finer-grained sediments. The proximity of the southern profile to archaeological sites such as Dunan Ruadh and known examples of submerged intertidal peats (Ritchie 1985) provides further incentive for investigating the palaeogeography of not only the mainland coasts of the Outer Hebrides but the smaller islands too.

4.6.5.

4.6.6.

4.6.7.

4.6.8.

4.6.9.

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Berneray 4.6.10. The profiles from Taraloch and Loch Bhuirgh indicate substantial shallow gradients within the intertidal and nearshore areas of the east coast of Berneray. Loch Bhuirgh may be of particular interest for later prehistory due to its relatively higher elevation. The development of this intertidal zone following marine transgression from the Early Neolithic would be a future research priority. Loch nam Ban, North Uist 4.6.11. A wide, submerged plain covering at least 500m of the nearshore area of Loch nam Ban appears to be covered in sediments which may be sheltered from erosion by the headland at Otternish and the islet Torogaigh. Inundated faults Borrisdale 4.6.12. Borrisdale near Rodel appears to be a faultline which has been inundated by Holocene sea-level rise. The narrow, steep sided topography (characteristic of the southern zone of the survey dataset around Sursay and Tahay) is offset by a relatively shallow gradient moving offshore suggesting that the relatively low volumes of sediment produced by the hard metamorphic rocks of the region can accumulate in these smaller areas where Holocene sediments may survive with favourable tides and currents.

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Multibeam Bathymetry (SA16: East Loch Roag & West of Lewis) 4.6.13. The combined multibeam bathymetry from Lewis begins at -8.5m, and provides little coverage for incorporating the current RSL models.

Figure 29: Lewis combined multibeam bathymetry (Marine Scotland / BGS). Vertical scale refers only to Lewis multibeam, not Sound of Harris coverage. Yellow, orange and red zones overlap with the Mesolithic B model from the Sound of Harris (Northton site is marked). SRTM dataset: Jarvis A., H.I. Reuter, A. Nelson, E. Guevara, 2008, Hole-filled seamless SRTM data V4, International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), available from http://srtm.csi.cgiar.org.

4.6.14. Very small areas of overlap with the low-tide range within the models proposed above (Table 12) are indicated off the coast of Lewis. An intertidal skerrie 2 km northwest off Gabhsann bho Dheas roughly 350x150 m; and, a smaller skerrie in East Loch Roag between Breasclate and Circebost about 15m across. With the proximity of major sites like Calanais (c. 3km southeast) and known extents of intertidal peats at Lundale and other locations in East Loch Roag increased shallow water bathymetry, sediment mapping and analysis of these deposits would greatly benefit the understanding of the coastal configuration of early prehistory in this region which has hints of Mesolithic human influence preserved in local microcharcoal records (Edwards 2004).

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Figure 30: Extent of multibeam bathymetry dataset of East Loch Roag within the parameters of model Mesolithic B (low-tide c 10.5m OD) (orange dot within larger red zone), c. 15x15m). Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013, (data supplied by Marine Scotland 2013)

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5. 5.1. 5.1.1.

CONCLUSIONS PROJECT AIMS & OBJECTIVES REVISITED The OHCCMAPP was developed around three central themes: x x x Marine Resource Exploitation; Maritime History & Transport; and, Submerged Prehistory (potential).

5.1.2.

Datasets have been gathered for all three themes, particularly for Marine Resource Exploitation and Submerged Prehistory (potential). Other than published and existing archives of known wrecks reports access to Maritime History & Transport thematic information from Community groups was restricted to specific groups such as Retired Fishermen and Divers. Whilst in-roads were made during OHCCMAPP such as reports of a coal wreck off Manish, Harris and the Loch Laxdale wreck, the scale of this knowledge base quickly became apparent and the need for a bespoke and dedicated effort for engaging with maritime users. Elements of this have been incorporated into the forthcoming project SAMPHIRE (Scotland’s Atlantic Marine Past: Heritage Investigation Research and Education) [website to follow], which will be supported through the Crown Estate’s Marine Stewardship Fund. As initially set out, the objectives of this pilot study were to gauge locations, site concentration, environmental and cultural variables that would underpin a full research agenda to be carried out in the future. Objectives were to: x engage with the local community through existing and newly formed knowledge networks, friendships and contacts, public lectures and media interviews in order to access a living and finite knowledge base; assess the results from this engagement process and apply them to further field investigation; focus on under-represented areas, particularly the east coasts of the archipelago (i.e. complementing SCAPE’s previous work with a focus on the seabed and shorelines that remain un-surveyed); enhance local and national datasets; through the addition of new sites and enhancement of records of existing sites located across the coastal, intertidal and marine zones; begin to establish a model for site discovery in the marine environment of the Outer Hebrides; identify specific locations for future study which would use investigative techniques such as marine geophysics, geotechnical (coring) assessment and archaeological diving; help inform future management of the Outer Hebrides’ marine environment.

5.1.3.

5.1.4.

x x

x

x x

x

5.1.5.

Engagement Within the scale of the project engagement was successfully undertaken across Barra, the Uists, Harris and Lewis. Community groups were met, tours and site visits
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made, lectures given to packed venues at Stornoway Council Chambers, and Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre, Lochmaddy. This was complimented by presentations to the wider archaeological community and public at specialist conferences and meetings during 2011 and 2012. These included the UK meeting of SPLASHCOS in the early stages of the pilot project to garner colleague support and guidance. Engagement into Practice From the range of material collected during these engagement process a number of new sites were identified in 2011 and subsequently investigated in 2012, e.g. Hartavagh and Stulaigh. This also contributed to complementing existing work on the coast, such as the CZA’s commissioned by SCAPE, particularly in areas which are very remote and require specific logistical support in order to investigate and record them, i.e. not suitable for CZA along extended stretches of accessible coastline. A key factor which was unexpected at the inception of the Pilot Project was that by having a structure in place that allowed for Community reports of disparate archaeological or historical material from underwater contexts that rapid responses to opportunities that arose outside the original scope (e.g. geographical) of the Project could be followed up with significant archaeological results. This is most evident from the Mesolithic coastal and eroded underwater lithic assemblage Lub Dubh-Aird. By having the logistics on standby for investigating coastal and marine archaeology of any period, rapid investigation, analysis and reporting has been achieved. Enhancing Datasets The archaeological features identified during both years of the Pilot Project have been, or are in the process of archiving with RCAHMS and OASIS. Salient elements have also been reported to SCAPE. Developing a Hebridean Model & Site Prospection Through the thematic assessments made in the Pilot Project, the integration of marine resources, palaeogeography and field investigations has provided a means for establishing parameters for submerged prehistoric landscapes in the region and locations for their investigation. This has been developed furthest for the Sound of Harris as existing freely-available geophysics datasets exist to formulate the model around. The integration of a biotope model with available Holocene relative sealevel models has provided a number of scenarios pertinent to the archaeology of the Outer Hebrides for most major periods.

5.1.6.

5.1.7.

5.1.8.

5.1.9.

Developing Methodologies 5.1.10. The range of different geographical locations, site types and range of specialist field surveys involved in this pilot project have allowed a broad spectrum of datasets and skillsets to be deployed where opportunities exist in the landscape. 5.1.11. It is clear from the Pilot Study that one location does not provide it all. The deployment of a range of specialists including surveyors, prehistorians, historians, divers and geoarchaeologist is required. Deploying and utilising this suite of skillsets has been effective, for example at Hartavagh and represents a field package able to investigate a broad range of resources that may be present at a given location, within a modest budget and facilitated by Community contacts and local logistical support. The generous support of JJ McDonald of Lochaineort and Marine Harvest

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at Loch Boisdale was crucial to these field investigations and they are warmly thanked. 5.1.12. Due to the remoteness and difficulty of access to large parts of the east coast as well as the practicalities of modern funding streams the opportunity to record a landscape above, at and below the water is required to avoid duplication of effort and maximise resources as well as contextualise the development of the landscape across Holocene timescales. Informing Cultural Heritage Management 5.1.13. The range of sites and material investigate during the Pilot Project is wide, spanning the Holocene from inundated peats now in the intertidal zone; reported historic wrecks; Mesolithic lithic assemblages with complex intra-tidal taphonomy, to abandoned farmsteads, and complexes of intertidal structures and yairs. 5.1.14. Whilst examples of these kind of coastal and marine cultural heritage are known from across Scotland they are relatively subtle, buried, hidden or otherwise unrecorded. Reiterating a point made above, no one location has it all, the corollary is that a given location may have a range of disparate elements that inform and represent its cultural heritage that requires an open, flexible and multi-disciplinary approach. The obscuring and erosive impact of the tide also should not be underestimated. 5.1.15. Yairs and causeways, for example, are effectively rows of stones within the intertidal zone. However, they are key elements of the coastal and marine resource landscape in the historical and probably prehistoric past. Whilst the effect of the large tidal range in the Islands limits the clarity of relatively dating or analysing the features effective use in the tidal frame. Surveying relative to a vertical datum should be encouraged rather than just a 2D plan of the features with the accessibility of recording technology these days. With a sufficient dataset it may be possible to develop the analyses. 5.2. 5.2.1. NEXT STEPS Significant resources have been identified from across the Islands, and targets for future research have been identified, particularly in the Sound Of Harris. Prospection for submerged palaeolandscapes, improving local relative sea-level models is key elements. Investigating the use of existing geophysical datasets from the Sound of Harris for investigating shipwrecks. Publication of key elements from the project, including the palaeogeography modelling and Lub Dubh-Aird site. Major research funding for projects developing the three key themes of OHCCMAPP. Developing the Community resource of the maritime environment through the SAMPHIRE Project.

5.2.2. 5.2.3. 5.2.4. 5.2.5.

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6. 6.1.1.

RECOMMENDATIONS To further develop coastal and marine archaeology in Scotland, an embedded multidisciplinary team with terrestrial field surveyors, specialist geoarchaeology and geophysics capacity and an underwater survey teams is concluded to have worked well in the field (e.g. a 6 person team at Hartavagh). Were such a structure supported national and regional management, it would be worth consideration that research vessels (such as those sourced from national institutions including the BGS, Marine Scotland or other public sources) could be deployed when they are available (perhaps dedicated to archaeology for a few weeks a year). This system, which is done successfully in other countries, such as Norway (e.g. the NTNU structure for marine research vessels which has an allocation for marine archaeology) and France (e.g. DRASSM and Adramar) would greatly expand the capacity for integrated coastal and marine archaeology within existing survey programs (e.g. hMPA work). Furthermore, it would likely be much more costeffective and have significant potential for investigating maritime, marine and submerged prehistoric cultural heritage under such an umbrella. Integrated full-spectrum surveys of the coastal and nearshore area can be developed, especially for remote locations were logistics and resources need to be maximised. To expand this fully it is clear that the distribution of geophysical datasets of sufficient scope, resolution and proximity to the coast are rare for Scotland. Whilst the access to bathymetry datasets through Marine Scotland and other organisations such as the MCA, BGS and UKHO is possible their use for investigating submerged prehistory and maritime wrecks is limited. By integrating cultural heritage specifications into survey briefs the usefulness of publically-funded geophysical datasets for Cultural Heritage purposes may be improved. By incorporating local community knowledge, hospitality this kind of work is possible and enriching at the local, regional and national scale. Associated with tidal cycles, significant archaeological remains have been missed during landscape surveys (e.g. Lub Dubh-Aird was visited at high-tide), with finite budgets and field-time within daylight hours, maximisation of expertise on-site, across the full terrestrial-coastal-submerged spectrum of cultural heritage landscapes can be achieved for a relatively small investment and strategic interdepartmental organisation. By focussing upon a full-spectrum intertidal survey with logistics managed specifically around the tidal cycle in coastal and nearshore environments, with the use of a boat, field-time and recording coverage is maximised within a given time period. At low-tide the focus is on inter-tidal cultural heritage which can effectively shift to underwater maritime heritage at higher tides without substantial downtime.

6.1.2.

6.1.3.

6.1.4. 6.1.5.

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7.

REFERENCES Ballin, T.B., Saville, A., ‘2003’, ‘An ahrensburgian-type tanged point from shieldaig, wester ross, scotland, and its implications’. Oxford journal of archaeology 22 (2), 115–131. Ballin, T.B., White, R., Richardson, P., Neighbour, T., 2011, ‘An Early Mesolithic stone tool assemblage from Clachan Harbour, Raasay, Scottish Hebrides’, Lithics 31. Bishop, R.R., Church, M.J., Rowley-Conwy, P.A., ‘Excavations at Northton, Western Isles of Scotland, 2010; Data Structure Report, Unpublished Report, Dept. of Archaeology, Durham University. Bradley, S.L., Milne, G. A., Shennan, I., Edwards, R., 2011, ‘An improved glacial isostatic adjustment model for the British Isles’, Journal of Quaternary Science 26 (5), 541–552. Chadwick, B.A.M. And Catchpole, T., 2010, ‘Casting The Net Wide: Mapping And Dating Fish Traps Through The Severn Estuary Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey’, Archaeology In The Severn Estuary 21, 47–80. EASE Archaeology, 2005, ‘Western Isles (South) Coastal Zone Assessment Survey - Grimsay, Benbecula & South Uist’, SCAPE Trust: http://www.scapetrust.org/html/suist_download.html. Edwards, K.J., 1996, ‘A Mesolithic of the Western and Northern Isles of Scotland? Evidence from pollen and charcoal’. In, Pollard, T., Morrison, A. (Eds.), The Early Prehistory of Scotland, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, p23–38. Edwards, K.J., 2004, ‘Palaeoenvironments of the Late Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Periods in Scotland and the North Sea Area: New Work, New Thoughts’, In, Saville, A (Ed.), Mesolithic Scotland and its Neighbours, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Edinburgh, p55-72. Edwards,K.J., Whittington, G., 1997, ‘Vegetation change’, in: K.J. Edwards, I.B.M. Ralston (Eds.), Scotland: Environment and Archaeology, 8000 BC–AD 1000, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, pp. 63–82. Garrow, D., Sturt, F., (2011), ‘Grey waters bright with Neolithic argonauts? Maritime connections and the Mesolithic–Neolithic transition within the ‘western seaways’ of Britain, c. 5000–3500 BC’, Antiquity 85:59-72. Gehrels, W.R., 2010, ‘Late Holocene land- and sea-level changes in the British Isles: implications for future sea-level predictions’, Quaternary Science Reviews 29 (13-14): 1648–1660. Gregory, R.A., Murphy, E.M., Church, M.J., Edwards, K.J., Guttmann, E.B., Simpson, D.A., 2005, ‘Archaeological evidence for the first Mesolithic occupation of the Western Isles of Scotland’, Holocene 15: 944-950. Hardy, K., Benjamin, J., Bicket, A., McCarthy, J., Ballin, T., 2012, ‘Lub Dubh-Aird: a prehistoric landcsape’, unpublished report to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. Octobre 2012. Hardy, K., Wickham-Jones, C. (Eds.), ‘Mesolithic and later sites around the Inner Sound, Scotland: the work of the Scotland’s First Settlers project 1998–2004’, SAIR 31: http://www.sair.org.uk/sair31/.

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Jones, C., 1983. Walls in the sea-the goradau of Menai Some marine antiquities of the Menai Straits. International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, 12 (1), 27–40. Jones, J.R., Mulville, J. a, McGill, R. a R., Evershed, R.P., 2012, ‘Palaeoenvironmental modelling of į(13) C and į(15) N values in the North Atlantic Islands: understanding past marine resource use’, Rapid communications in mass spectrometry: RCM 26 (20), 2399–406. Jordan, J.T., Smith, D.E., Dawson, S.U.E., Dawson, A.G., 2010, ‘Holocene relative sea-level changes in Harris , Outer Hebrides , Scotland, UK’, Journal of Quaternary Science 25, 115–134. Lambeck, K., 1993, ‘Glacial rebound of the British Isles-I, A high-resolution, highprecision model’, Geophysical Journal International 115 (3), 960–990. Lenfert, R., 2011, ‘Tracing Long-Term Continuity and Change in Scottish Island Dwellings from the Neolithic to the Post-Medieval Period’, Phd thesis submitted, University of Nottingham, Dept of Archaeology. Lübke, H., Schmölcke, U., Tauber, F., 2011, ‘Mesolithic Hunter-Fishers in a Changing World: a case study of submerged sites on the Jäckelberg, Wismar Bay, northeastern Germany’, In, Benjamin et al., (Eds.) Submerged Prehistory, Oxbow Books, Oxford, p21-37. Momber, G., Tomalin, D., Scaife, R., Satchell, J., Gillespie, J. (Eds.), 2011, Mesolithic occupation at Bouldnor Cliff and the submerged prehistoric landscapes of the Solent, CBA Research Report 164, CBA, York. Moreland, J., 2012, ‘The Mountain Survey’, In, Parker Pearson, M (Ed.). From Machair to Mountains: Archaeological survey and excavation in South Uist, Oxbow Books, Oxford, p83-117. Peltier W.R., Shennan, I., Drummond, R., Horton B., 2002, ‘On the post- glacial isostatic adjustment of the British Isles and of the shallow viscoelastic structure of the Earth’, Geophysical Journal International 148: 443–475. Ramsay, D.L., Brampton, A.H, Coastal Cells in Scotland: Cells 8 & 9 – The Western Isles. Scottish Natural Heritgae Research, Survey and Monitoring Report No 150. Rennie, A. F., Hansom, J.D., 2011, ‘Sea level trend reversal: Land uplift outpaced by sea level rise on Scotland’s coast’, Geomorphology 125 (1), 193–202. Shennan, I. and Horton, B., 2002. ‘Holocene land- and sea-level changes in Great Britain’, Journal of Quaternary Science 17 (5-6): 511–526. Shennan, I.A.N., Bradley, S., Milne, G., Brooks, A., Bassett, S., and Hamilton, S., 2006, ‘Relative sea-level changes , glacial isostatic modelling and ice-sheet reconstructions from the British Isles since the Last Glacial Maximum’, Journal of Quaternary Science 21: 585–599. Simpson, D.D.A., Murphy, E.M., Gregory, R.A., 2005, ‘Excavation at Northton, Isle of Harris’, Oxford: BAR British Series. Tipping, R., 1996, ‘Microscopic charcoal records, inferred human activity and climatic change in Mesolithic of northernmost Scotland’, In, Pollard,T., Morrison, A. (Eds.), The Early Prehistory of Scotland, Edinburgh University press, Edinburgh, p39-61. Weninger, B., Schulting, R., Bradtmöller, M., Clare, L., Collard, M., Edinborough, K., Hilpert, J., Jöris, O., Niekus, M., Rohling, E.J., et al., 2008, ‘The catastrophic

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final flooding of Doggerland by the Storegga Slide tsunami’, Documenta Praehistorica 35 (Neolithic Studi) 1–24.

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Creag an t-Sagairt

Stulaigh

0

10

20m

Caolas Stulaigh

Yair survey points

0

50 m

Contains RCAHMS data © Crown Copyright 2012. Panorama made using AutoStitch, www.autostitch.net Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown Copyright and database right 2013. This material is for client report only © Wessex Archaeology. No unauthorised reproduction.

Revision Number: Illustrator: Date: Scale: Path:

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Panorama at Stulaigh yair, looking east

Surveyed area at Stulaigh, South Uist including intertidal yair and multi-phase post-medieval farmstead

Figure A1.1

Panorama at Hartavagh, looking north

Hartavagh at high tide, looking north

White house at Hartavagh during low tide, looking northeast

Hartavagh

Intertidal features

0

100 m

Contains RCAHMS data © Crown Copyright 2012. Panorama made using AutoStitch, www.autostitch.net Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown Copyright and database right 2013. This material is for client report only © Wessex Archaeology. No unauthorised reproduction.

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Hartavagh, South Uist intertidal structures and multi-phase post-medieval settlement

Figure A1.2

79441_9 79441_8

Boat naust at Locheynort

79441_10 1004 79441_11

0

500 m
Locheynort (Loch Aineort)

1007

79441_8

OHCCMAPP Year 1 79441_9 79441_8 79441_10 1003 1004 79441_11 OHCCMAPP Year 2

1002

0

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79441_9

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Panorama made using AutoStitch, www.autostitch.net Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown Copyright and database right 2013. This material is for client report only © Wessex Archaeology. No unauthorised reproduction.

Revision Number: Illustrator: Date: Scale: Path:

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79441_10

Recorded intertidal features from Locheynort, South Uist

Figure A1.3

79441_3 79441_7

79441_3

79441_4

79441_5
Kallin, Grimsay

79441_4
79441_1

79441_6

0

50 mm Community finds of ceramics and a hammer stone (79441_1)

79441_5
Grimsay CZA OHCCMAPP Year 2

0

100

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Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown Copyright and database right 2013. This material is for client report only © Wessex Archaeology. No unauthorised reproduction.

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79441_6

79441_6

79441_7

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Recorded intertidal features from Kallin, Grimsay

Figure A1.4

Panorama looking south, Manish, tidal pond

Manish, Harris

Panorama looking east, Ob Leasaid

OHCCMAPP Year 2

Remains of a post-medieval building overlooking tidal pond

0

100

200 m

Panorama made using AutoStitch, www.autostitch.net Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown Copyright and database right 2013. This material is for client report only © Wessex Archaeology. No unauthorised reproduction.

Revision Number: Illustrator: Date: Scale: Path:

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remains of a post-medevial building overlooking Manish tidal inlet

Manish, Harris

Figure A1.5

Lewis multibeam

Lundale, Lewis 79441_14

Snorkel survey, recovered, out-of-context tree branch from inundated bog at Lundale
Lundale A 79441_15 Lundale B 79441_12

79441_13

0

100

200 m

OHCCMAPP Year 2 Core locations

Recovered core from shallow-water in Lundale, wood peat visible below marine mud

0

1

2 km

Intertidal structure at Lundale, 79441_14

Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown Copyright and database right 2013. This material is for client report only © Wessex Archaeology. No unauthorised reproduction.

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Intertidal structure at Lundale, 79441_15

Drawing Office\Report figs\DSR\13-02-11

Recorded intertidal features from Lundale, Lewis

Figure A1.6

A

C

Upper Loch Torridon

TP5

B

TP4 TP3

0
TP2 TP1
Bedrock

2 km
TP6

B
TP7

Camas an Eilein Chnapaich

Sgeir MhicDhonnach Bhan

Sron an Dubh-Aird Bedrock

TP8
Sron Ghlas Ruin

Camas a' Bhodaich

ML W

LDA 4

MH W

TP9
Bedrock

C

Coille an t-Seana Mhorair
Fish

Dubh-Aird

Bedrock farm

LDA 1
Lub Dubh-Aird

Core 1 Core 2

LDA 2 LDA 3

Rock shelter with midden

Ob Gorm Mor

0

100

200 m
Date: 12/03/13

0
Revision Number: 0

50 m

Photogrammetry model created using Autodesk 123D Catch.

Test pit Gridded survey bounding box

Coring sites Modern surface drainage

Scale: Path:

A. 1:80,000, B. 1:5000 C. 1:625 @A3

Illustrator:

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Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013. This material is for client report only © Wessex Archaeology. No unauthorised reproduction.

Upper Loch Torridon: Lub Dubh-Aird site investigation & landscape photogrammetry model

Figure A1.7

OHCCMAPP 2012-13 Report

APPENDIX I: GAZETTEER GAZETTEER OF CULTURAL HERITAGE FEATURES OF INTEREST (OHCCMAPP 2012) Stulaigh
Site Name Caolas Stulaigh21 Hordag, Caolas Stulaigh22 Cairaidh Beag, Caolas Stulaigh23 Bagh Na Cairidh Moire, Caolas Stulaigh24 Description Township Building Fish trap Fish trap CANMORE ID 126011 319217 319225 319226

Hartavagh
Site Name Eilean Dubh, Hartavagh25 Eilean Dubh, Hartavagh26 Eilean Dubh, Hartavagh27 Hartavagh, South Uist28 Hartavagh, South Uist 29 Hartavagh, South Uist 30 Eilean Dubh, Hartavagh31 Eilean Dubh, Hartavagh32 Eilean Dubh, Hartavagh33 Eilean Dubh, Hartavagh34 Eilean Dubh, Hartavagh35 Eilean Dubh,
21
22

Description Fish Trap Fish Trap Fish Trap Hut Circle (Prehistoric) Building(s) (Post Medieval), Enclosure (Post Medieval), Lazy Beds (Post Medieval) Blackhouse (19th Century) Blackhouse (19th Century), Hut (Post Medieval) Blackhouse (19th Century) Kelp Kiln(S) (18th Century) Cottage (19-20th Century) Blackhouse (19th Century) Cottage (19-20th Century)

CANMORE ID 315844 315845 315846 318431 318432 318810 318865 318866 318867 318868 318870 318871

http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/126011/details/south+uist+kyles+stuley/ (last accessed 01/02/2013) http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/319217/details/south+uist+hordag+caolas+stulaigh/ (last accessed 01/02/2013) 23 http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/319225/details/south+uist+caolas+stulaigh+cairaidh+beag/ (last accessed 01/02/2013) 24 http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/319226/details/south+uist+caolas+stulaigh+bagh+na+cairidh+moire/ (last accessed 01/02/2013) 25 http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/315844/details/south+uist+hartavagh/ (last accessed 01/02/2013) 26 http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/315845/details/south+uist+hairteabhagh/ (last accessed 01/02/2013) 27 http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/315846/details/south+uist+hartavagh/ (last accessed 01/02/2013) 28 http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/318431/details/south+uist+thairteabhagh/ (last accessed 01/02/2013) 29 http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/318432/details/south+uist+hairteabhagh/ (last accessed 01/02/2013) 30 http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/318810/details/south+uist+hairteabhagh/ (last accessed 01/02/2013) 31 http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/318865/details/south+uist+eilean+dubh/ (last accessed 01/02/2013) 32 http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/318866/details/south+uist+eilean+dubh/ (last accessed 01/02/2013) 33 http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/318867/details/south+uist+hairteabhagh/ (last accessed 01/02/2013) 34 http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/318868/details/south+uist+hairteabhagh/ (last accessed 01/02/2013) 35 http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/318870/details/south+uist+hairteabhagh/ (last accessed 01/02/2013)

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Hartavagh36 Hartavagh, South Uist37 Glac An Daimh, Hartavagh38 Hartavagh, South Uist 39 Eilean Dubh, Hartavagh40 Loch Moraidh, South Uist41 Eilean Dubh, Hartavagh42 Loch Moraidh, South Uist43 Hartavagh, South Uist44

Cottage (19-20th Century), Peat Stand Blackhouse (19th Century) Blackhouse (19th Century) Blackhouse (19th Century), Bridge (19th Century) Building (Post Medieval) Fish Trap (Post Medieval) Settlement (Prehistoric)(Possible) Lazy Beds(s) (19th Century), Peat Cutting(s) (19th Century), Peat Stand(s) (19th Century), Township (19th Century)

318877 318878 318888 318889 318893 318895 319315 927956

Grimsay
WA ID 79441_1 79441_2 79441_3 79441_4 79441_5 79441_6 79441_7 Easting BNG 87965 77600 88180 88242 88300 88227 88035 Northing BNG 854896 855400 855263 855154 855168 854843 855253 Description Community finds of ceramics and stone artefacts from house construction Community finds of ceramics and stone artefacts from eroding hillock behind post office near Benbecula airport Possible yair next to slipway at Uachdar, Grimsay Possible yair Drystone wall in between two small islets at Uachdar, Grimsay Possible yair or dry-stone dyke delineating an intertidal basin, Uachdar, Grimsay Possible causeway between two islets at Uachdar, Grimsay

Locheynort, South Uist
WA ID 79441_8 79441_9 79441_10 79441_11 Easting BNG 80221 80130 80090 80134 Northing BNG 828789 828876 828644 828611 Description Possible causeway between islet and mainland in northeast Locheynort Possible causeway between islet and mainland in northeast Locheynort Possible causeway between islet and mainland in northeast Locheynort Possible causeway between islet and mainland in northeast Locheynort

36
37

http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/318871/details/south+uist+hairteabhagh/ (last accessed 01/02/2013) http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/318877/details/south+uist+hairteabhagh/ (last accessed 01/02/2013) 38 http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/318878/details/south+uist+hairetabhagh/ (last accessed 01/02/2013) 39 http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/318888/details/south+uist+hairetabhagh/ (last accessed 01/02/2013) 40 http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/318889/details/south+uist+hairteabhagh/ (last accessed 01/02/2013) 41 http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/318893/details/south+uist+loch+moraibh/ (last accessed 01/02/2013) 42 http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/318895/details/south+uist+hairteabhagh/ (last accessed 01/02/2013) 43 http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/319315/details/south+uist+loch+moraidh/ (last accessed 01/02/2013) 44 http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/126023/details/south+uist+hairteabhagh/ (last accessed 01/02/2013)

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Lundale, Lewis
WA ID 79441_12 Easting BNG 119145 Northing BNG 932132 Description Tidally-truncated, prograding blanket peat deposit at Lundale, at least 1m thick exposed section (palaeoenvironmental interest) Tidally-truncated, prograding blanket peat deposit at Lundale, at least 1m thick exposed section (palaeoenvironmental interest) Possible yair, dyke or causeway between islet and mainland at Lundale, Lewis Possible yair, dyke or causeway between peat islet and mainland at Lundale, Lewis

79441_13 79441_14 79441_15

119050 118961 119050

932067 932301 932167

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OHCCMAPP 2012-13 Report

APPENDIX II: PALAEOGEOGRAPHICAL RECONSTRUCTIONS

78

Today

Viking scenario, c. AD 800

Biotopes Terrestrial Intertidal Marine
! (

Current coastline Viking context

Biotopes Terrestrial Intertidal Marine

! (

RSL model field sites Jordan et al. 2010)

0

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Drawing projection: WGS84 Bathymetry © MCA. Jarvis A., H.I. Reuter, A. Nelson, E. Guevara, 2008, Hole-filled seamless SRTM data V4, International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), available from http://srtm.csi.cgiar.org. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013. This material is for client report only © Wessex Archaeology. No unauthorised reproduction.

Current and Viking palaeogeography scenarios for the Sound of Harris bathymetry

Figure A2.1

Iron Age scenario, c. 700 BC

Bronze Age scenario, c. 2000 BC

Current coastline
! (

Biotopes Terrestrial Intertidal Marine
! (

Current coastline Bronze Age context

Biotopes Terrestrial Intertidal Marine

Iron Age context

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Drawing projection: WGS84 Bathymetry © MCA. Jarvis A., H.I. Reuter, A. Nelson, E. Guevara, 2008, Hole-filled seamless SRTM data V4, International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), available from http://srtm.csi.cgiar.org. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013. This material is for client report only © Wessex Archaeology. No unauthorised reproduction.

Iron Age and Bronze Age palaeogeography scenarios for the Sound of Harris bathymetry

Figure A2.2

Late Neolithic scenario, c. 2500 BC

Early Neolithic scenario, c. 3800 BC

Current coastline
! (

Biotopes Terrestrial Intertidal Marine
! (

Current coastline Early Neolithic context Holocene peat (Ritchie, 1985)

Biotopes Terrestrial Intertidal Marine

Late Neolithic context Holocene peat (Ritchie, 1985)

0

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Drawing projection: WGS84 Bathymetry © MCA. Jarvis A., H.I. Reuter, A. Nelson, E. Guevara, 2008, Hole-filled seamless SRTM data V4, International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), available from http://srtm.csi.cgiar.org. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013. This material is for client report only © Wessex Archaeology. No unauthorised reproduction.

Late Neolithic palaeogeography scenarios for the Sound of Harris bathymetry

Figure A2.3

Mesolithic A scenario Mesolithic B scenario

Current coastline
( !

Mesolithic context Holocene peat (Ritchie, 1985) Biotopes Terrestrial Intertidal Marine

Mesolithic C ‘highstand sea-level scenario’ Mesolithic D ‘lowstand sea-level scenario’

0

10 km

Drawing projection: WGS84 Bathymetry © MCA. Jarvis A., H.I. Reuter, A. Nelson, E. Guevara, 2008, Hole-filled seamless SRTM data V4, International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), available from http://srtm.csi.cgiar.org. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2013. This material is for client report only © Wessex Archaeology. No unauthorised reproduction.

Date: 12/04/13 Revision Number: 1 Scale: 1:250,000 @ A3 Illustrator: KJF Path: Y:\PROJECTS_Edinburgh\ 79441\Drawing Office\Report figs\DSR\13_02_11

Mesolithic palaeogeography scenarios for the Sound of Harris bathymetry

Figure A2.4

OHCCMAPP 2012-13 Report

APPENDIX III: AREAS OF POTENTIAL PALAEOLANDSCAPE PRESERVATION IN THE SOUND OF HARRIS

79

14 10

-18 0

-1 0

“Bagh a’Chaolais”
12

165

“An Struth”

155

10

2 0

15

“Dun Innisgall”
10

155

-8

-10

0

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“Ensay north-east”

370

“Ensay north”

400

20 -6 0

“Carminish”
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“Borrisdale”

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450

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0 18

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“Taraloch”

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“Killegray south”

380

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“Loch Bhuirgh”

1400 11

“Aird Innis”

490

14

-2

0 0

“Loch Amhlasaraigh”

1100

0

“Loch nam Ban”
Biotopes Terrestrial Intertidal Marine

600

Date:
Bathymetry © MCA. This material is for client report only © Wessex Archaeology. No unauthorised reproduction.

13/02/13 Scale: Path: NTS

Revision Number: Illustrator:

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Modern bathymetry of the Sound of Harris with selected bathymetric profiles. Profile scale: 0m = LAT at Stornoway

Figure A3.1

OHCCMAPP 2012-13 Report

APPENDIX IV: ENGAGEMENT WITH THE FISHING INDUSTRY: SCOPING REPORT

80

OUTER HEBRIDES COASTAL COMMUNITY MARINE ARCHAEOLOGY PROJECT

SCOPING REPORT ON THE POTENTIAL CONTRIBUTION OF THE HEBRIDES FISHERIES

Prepared by: Simon Davidson WA Coastal & Marine 7/9 North St. David Street Edinburgh EH2 1AW Ref: 79441

August 2012
© Wessex Archaeology Limited 2012 Wessex Archaeology Ltd is a company limited by guarantee registered in England, company number 1712772. It is also a Charity registered in England and Wales, number 287786; and in Scotland, Scottish Charity number SC042630. Our registered office is at Portway House, Old Sarum Park, Salisbury, Wilts SP4 6BE

OUTER HEBRIDES COASTAL COMMUNITY MARINE ARCHAEOLOGY PROJECT INTERNAL SCOPING REPORT ON THE POTENTIAL CONTRIBUTION OF THE HEBRIDES FISHERIES
Ref: 79441 1. 1.1. 1.1.1. INTRODUCTION OVERVIEW OHCCMAPP was established by WA Coastal & Marine (WA) in 2010 in association with the Royal Commission on Ancient & Historic Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) and the local authority CNE-Siar, with a view to updating the local Historic Environment Record (HER) and National Record for the Historic Environment (NRHE). The objectives of the pilot study were summarised as follows: x x engage with the local community through public lectures and interviews in order to access a living and finite knowledge base and apply these results to further field investigation; identify particular study areas where archaeological potential meets, appropriate criteria that establish an area to be worth further consideration (and if practicable, begin to establish a ‘Hebridean model’ for coastal site prediction); focus on under-represented areas, particularly the east coasts of the archipelago (ie. building on and complementing SCAPE’s previous work while focusing on areas that remain un-surveyed); enhance local and national datasets (HER/RCAHMS national database), through the addition of new sites and enhanced records of existing sites located across the coastal, intertidal and marine zones; begin to establish a model for site discovery in the marine environment of the Outer Hebrides; identify specific locations for future study which would use techniques such as marine geophysics, geotechnical (coring) assessment and archaeological diving; and inform future management of the Western Isles’ marine environment for the purposes of sustainable development.

1.1.2.

x x x x x

1.1.3.

A phased approach to this pilot study was proposed. x x x x Phase 1: Community introduction and public outreach plan; Phase 2: Desk based study and aerial survey; Phase 3: Refinement of Study areas: Data gathering and preliminary landscape survey; Phase 4: Analysis and Reporting.

1

1.1.4.

In 2011, WA began Phase I of the project with a fact-finding trip to Lewis/Harris in order to appraise the local response to the idea and build links with the local communities there. The response was largely positive, especially with respect to the terrestrial and intertidal elements of the archaeological resource (see WA 2012b), however the prospect of finds being reported within the marine area (beyond the low water mark) was considered to limited by certain factors. Of these, the most apparent was perceived to be a comparatively low level of recreational and tourist diving occurring in Hebridean waters. However, the remoteness of the area also suggests lower levels of past human activity, thus reducing the potential for archaeological remains. The reality is likely to be a combination of the [relative] paucity of the archaeological resource and a lack of interaction with that resource. In order to enhance the prospects of discoveries and reports of archaeological sites and artefacts within the marine area, it was decided that the Western Isles commercial fishing communities would be approached, in the first instance to gauge interest in the OHCCMAPP, and in the second instance to assess the feasibility of a Phase 3 project which would seek to engage directly with the fisheries in an attempt to quantify their knowledge of the marine archaeological resource. On August 10th 2012 WA sent a representative (Simon Davidson) to Stornoway to meet with representatives from Comhairle nan Eilann Siar (CNE-Siar) and the Western Isles fisheries in order to discuss the potential for the Outer Hebridean fishing communities to contribute to OHCCMAPP. This report contains a summary and analysis of these discussions and proposes a methodology for fisheries interaction and data gathering which can be incorporated into Phase 3 of OHCCMAPP. THE WESTERN ISLES FISHING INDUSTRY The Western Isles fishing industry is made up of approximately 230 licensed vessels, registered and landing at 19 different ports. The largest of the ports are Stornoway (Lewis), Tarbet (Harris), Lochmaddy (North Uist), Lochboisdale (South Uist), and Castlebay (Barra). The WI fisheries target predominantly Atlantic prawns which they catch using [rock] hopper trawlers (Fig. 1) and creel pots.

1.1.5.

1.1.6.

1.2. 1.2.1.

1.2.2.

Figure 1. Two medium size trawlers in Stornoway harbour (left) and some hopper trawl nets (left) with their distinctive “rock hoppers” designed to lift the net up on contact with an obstruction and roll over it.

2

1.2.3.

The “rock hopper” trawl nets were developed in the 1980s to minimise the potential for net fastenings and snags between fishing gear and obstructions on the seabed. In essence, a series of rolling rubber “wheels” allow the bottom of the net to “bounce” over obstacles, provided they are of sufficiently low relief. The WI fisheries have been consistently and almost exclusively targeting prawns for nearly 30 years. A “very small” number of scallop dredgers have been known to operate out of Stornoway but they are seen very rarely suggesting yields have dropped to unsustainable levels in recent decades (Middleton, pers.com). The dredging of scallops has a strong association with archaeological discoveries, especially with respect to small lithics and ceramics which can get dislodged from their context by the dredge teeth and caught in the small nets. The WI fishing vessels do cover a large area of sea, incorporating the Minch (which separates the Outer Hebrides from the Scottish mainland) and both the inshore and offshore waters of the Atlantic. The habitat of the main target species mean that the WI fisheries tend to operate predominantly in muddy substrates. Around 30 commercial hopper trawlers operate within the east and south Minch, with a further 24 operating offshore from Harris and Lewis. The remaining vessels are smaller <10m vessels using creels and angling as their primary gear. All of the above factors will have a bearing on the quantity and type of archaeological site that may be discovered and this is discussed in Section 2.2. ARCHAEOLOGICAL POTENTIAL WITHIN THE MARINE ZONE THE POTENTIAL FOR ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES TO EXIST WITHIN HEBRIDEAN WATERS It is likely that the waters surrounding the Outer Hebrides in which the WI fisheries operate will contain a diverse range of archaeological remains. These will include the remnants of prehistoric life from times when the seabed was habitable terrain and hinterland, as well as the remains of wrecked ships and aircraft. The likelihood of such remains having survived in a state that would allow them to be discovered, identified, and analysed is less easy to quantify without proper research. However, if (as suspected) the primary substrate is sedimentary in nature, then the potential for survival is increased (see Wheeler 2002; Ward et al 1999). The potential for the preservation in situ of archaeological remains is further increased by the apparent lack of industrial or recreational activity within the area. Archaeological sites on the seabed can be inadvertently or deliberately impacted by anthropomorphic activities at the site or in the vicinity, but where sites and artefacts are left undisturbed their longevity can be substantially extended. This is particularly the case where commercial fishing is concerned as despite the best efforts of fishermen to avoid wrecks, interaction does occur with uncharted sites. Indeed, this is how many shipwrecks and aircraft wrecks are discovered (see WA 2011). The potential for surviving archaeological remains on the seabed around the Outer Hebrides is arguably not as high as it is for the more established historic shipping routes, but its location at the junction between the North Sea and the Atlantic gives it added prominence and the potential for prehistoric, maritime, and aviation archaeology should not be underestimated.

1.2.4.

1.2.5.

1.2.6.

1.2.7.

2. 2.1. 2.1.1.

2.1.2.

2.1.3.

3

2.2. 2.2.1.

THE POTENTIAL FOR EXISTING FISHERIES DATA TO YIELD NEW ARCHAEOLOGICAL DATA There are two main “types” of find that occur during fishing operations: x Sites are discovered on the seabed through direct interaction between fishing gear and archaeological remains, or through notifications and alerts of obstructions which appear on sonar apparatus. Artefacts are discovered after being brought aboard or alongside during the retrieval of the fishing gear.

x 2.2.2.

Further investigation will normally be required to establish whether artefacts are isolated finds or a component of a larger site, and similarly, whether a net fastening is the result of a cultural or natural obstruction. The hopper trawling technique has a considerable bearing on the quantity and type of archaeological site or artefact that will be discovered during fishing operations. Low relief sites and artefacts on the seabed may be bounced over depending on the geomorphology of the location. This means the potential for small lithics and older shipwrecks to be discovered is reduced substantially. This was borne out in conversation with some of the fishing community, many of whom claimed to have discovered no archaeological remains whatsoever in their fishing careers. The fishermen were also sceptical about the potential for future finds due to the following reasons: x x x They only fish in known high yield grounds with no forays into virgin territories; Their fishing gear is designed to bounce over obstructions; and All obstructions and wrecks within the fishing grounds are now charted and can be avoided.

2.2.3.

2.2.4.

2.2.5.

Larger sites and artefacts, such as modern metallic wrecks or aircraft which have retained the majority of their structural integrity, shape, and height (if not their internal components), may still provide enough of an obstruction to snag a hopper net. Even a large shipwreck or aircraft wreck may be hopped over if its shape provides an incline or rounded surface which allow the hoppers to continue forward motion. Discussions with the Stornoway fishing community suggested such finds were very rare indeed. These statements were echoed and endorsed by the fishing representatives who attended the Fisheries Joint Consultative Committee meeting. However, there was an acknowledgement that previous archaeological discoveries may not have been reported and indeed, may exist in the private possession of the person(s) who discovered them. Furthermore, there was consensus that existing knowledge about obstructions on the seabed, much of which is known only by the fishing community, may yield new archaeological data. During the discussions with Stornoway fishermen, it became apparent that many of the charted obstructions on the digital charts used by skippers came directly from community (and quite often family) knowledge transfer. This data was used in conjunction with standard UKHO data and Admiralty charts, and seemed to be retained within the Western Isles fishing community.

2.2.6.

2.2.7.

4

2.2.8.

The fishermen were not especially protective of the information, with one skipper offering to show WA his charts (see Fig.2) in order to illustrate the point. The chart showed the vessel track plots and numerous charted obstructions with de facto selfimposed exclusion zones. In some cases, the obstruction was known to be a wreck or a natural feature, whilst in other instances the nature of the obstruction remained unknown. Several skippers made it explicit that fishermen avoid such obstructions wherever possible in order to prevent costly damage to gear. One fishermen recalled bringing up “a section of a submarine’s tail fin” which caused irreparable damage to his hopper nets. He was subsequently reimbursed by the Ministry of Defence who “took charge of the wreckage”.

Fig. 2 Track plot and obstruction chart aboard Kaylana. The skipper suggested he would be happy to donate the data to OHCCMAPP for archaeological analysis. The red circles/dots represent areas that are avoided due to obstructions on the seabed.

2.2.9.

It seems apparent that a wealth of seabed knowledge exists within the WI fishing communities, however the value and uniqueness of the data requires proper testing. If any of the obstructions charted by the WI fisheries turn out to be previously unknown shipwrecks or aircraft wrecks, this data could make a substantial contribution to the archaeological record.

5

3. 3.1. 3.1.1.

A PROPOSED METHODOLOGY PRE-AMBLE It is reasonable to assume that several methodologies may successfully secure the collation of archaeological data from the WI Fisheries for use in OHCCMAPP. However, whilst it may seem preferable – from the perspective of a prospective funding body or sponsor - to have a rigid schedule and scheme of works in place prior to commencement, the Sussex experience suggests a more fluid, informal and ultimately simplified methodology can achieve better results. With this in mind, a number of phases are proposed which will allow a linear progression to occur, but where progress is not reliant on the successful completion of the previous phase. In essence, whilst the phases can be seen as an order of tasks, there should be scope to ensure the approach can be multi-faceted with multiple objectives operating simultaneously. It is acknowledged that this methodology will form a component of the OHCCMAPP rather than a project in its own right. To this end, its aims and objectives remain consistent with those of OHCCMAPP (as summarised in Section 1.2.2). This component of OHCCMAPP may require additional resources in the form of funding and in-kind services. It is anticipated that acquisition of fishing data will involve the following steps: 1. Establishment of contacts within the WI Fisheries (normally representatives from the various fishing associations and island communities); 2. Consultation with the WI Fisheries and CNE-Siar to assess viability, then further consultation with the fishing communities (either directly or through the WI Fisheries reps); 3. Collation of data; 4. Corroboration of data; 5. Analysis and interpretation of data; 6. Dissemination of Data to Public; and 7. Accession of data to NRHE/HER.

3.1.2.

3.1.3.

3.1.4. 3.2. 3.2.1.

The steps are discussed in more detail below. INITIAL CONTACT & FEASIBILITY DISCUSSION On Friday 10th August 2012, Simon Davidson of WA addressed the Western Isles Fisheries Joint Consultative Committee (WIFJCC). The meeting included 24 attendees from the Outer Hebridean fishing associations, CNE-Siar, and Scottish Natural Heritage, and included live video link-up with representatives from Barra, North Uist, and South Uist. The WA presentation lasted approximately 20 minutes and was followed by a 30 minute discussion which focused on the potential for a WI fisheries contribution to OHCCMAPP in 2013.

3.2.2.

6

3.2.3.

Overall, the response was very positive with most representatives coming to the consensus that their respective fishing communities would donate positional data and where possible report finds. Several fisheries representatives raised concerns on behalf of their members that by declaring finds they would be opening themselves up to possible legal proceedings. They also expressed concerns that their regular fishing areas would be declared off limits indefinitely. WA clarified that neither was inherently likely and in the case of the latter, very few areas of seabed have been excluded to sea-users for the sole purpose of protecting an archaeological site. It was agreed that further consultation should take place, in the first instance between the fisheries representatives and their respective fishing community to gauge support for the project and to test whether the quantity and quality of any forthcoming data would justify it going ahead. There was strong support for the idea in principle, given its potential to improve the public image of the fisheries. There were numerous comments from fishermen who claimed to have several colleagues who would be “very interested” in a project of this type. The success of this component of OHCCMAPP will be dependent, to an extent, on its visibility within the various fishing communities. Raising awareness is important not only in terms of encouraging involvement, but also in terms of endorsing the project and enhancing how it is perceived within the various communities. The minutes of the WIFJCC meeting are attached for further reference (see Appendix I)1. FURTHER CONSULTATION & ENGAGEMENT In light of the meeting with the WI Fisheries and CNE-Siar, it is proposed further consultation be undertaken with the Western Isles fishermen directly to assess the quantity and quality of data available and the formats in which it would be delivered. This should ideally take the form of in-person meetings and should include factfinding visits to each of the main fishing ports in the Western Isles. This will aid the development of a relationship with the fisheries and will allow the opportunity to explain the importance of the fishermen’s contribution and address any queries or suspicions that may arise. In the case of the English Heritage-sponsored Fishing Industry Protocol for Archaeological Discoveries (FIPAD) (WA 2012b) preliminary research suggested that fishermen’s positional data often includes charted obstructions that are not available on commercial navigation charts, making them the exclusive knowledge of a select few fishermen. Early indications suggest a similar scenario in the Western Isles. It is the fisherman’s right to retain that knowledge privately and they are under no obligation – legal or otherwise – to declare it2. It would be prudent therefore in the first instance to undertake further outreach activities to present OHCCMAPP and its

3.2.4.

3.2.5.

3.2.6.

3.2.7. 3.3. 3.3.1.

3.3.2.

3.3.3.

Please note that as of 24.08.2012 these have not yet been received. They have been requested and the report will be updated as soon as they are received. 2 There is a “code of practice” in place amongst fishermen working within reasonable proximity of each other that they share information about potential hazards on the seabed (and elsewhere). This information is normally shared between the various skippers who enter co-ordinates into their GPS. Thus fishing boats operating out of Aberdeen and Orkney which have been known to work off the Hebrides are not generally party to such data. This is not a deliberate ploy to endanger “outside” vessels, but is merely a consequence of the way information is traditionally transferred between OH fishermen. The situation is similar in Sussex.

1

7

aims to the fishermen directly. It is expected that there will be both trepidation and suspicion shown by some fishermen, and the key to minimising this is transparency and consistency in the dissemination of information. It is suggested that the best way to achieve a favourable outcome is to interact with the fishermen directly. In essence, to go and retrieve the data (or at least, an assurance that the data will be forthcoming) in person. It may be possible to work through the fishing association representatives, however, the Sussex protocol showed that this is no guarantee of success. 3.3.4. It would also be advisable to conduct further outreach activities throughout the Hebrides, with a focus on community interaction and the development of trust between the project partners and the wider community. Fishing finds may not necessarily remain in the possession of those who discovered or recovered them. Again, in-person meetings are suggested over other modes of communication as this demonstrates a willingness to engage directly and an appreciation of the fishing experience. The Sussex project demonstrated the value of developing a proper respect and appreciation of what has become and increasingly fraught and financially testing occupation. It should also help foster wider community links which could in turn help in other facets of the project. Lastly, a key factor in developing relations with the fishing community is providing clarity over the legal issues surrounding the reporting of material recovered from the seabed. Although this is not a problem in itself, there is a perception that reporting such material would immediately criminalise the original recovery, leaving the fisherman open to prosecution. It is important therefore that WA clarify what will happen to data gleaned from finds reported to them in good faith, but which have not been declared to the Receiver of Wreck. Furthermore, and perhaps more pertinently, WA need clarify what will happen to the find itself. It is anticipated that the fishing community will remain reluctant to report recovered finds until the legal context has been properly communicated. Once the consultation has been carried out, it will be possible to assess the quality and quantity of data that may be forthcoming. It is hoped that a quantity of data may already be submitted during the consultation phase and can be appraised early in the process. COLLATION OF DATA The collation data will involve two different methods depending on whether the reported find is a site on the seabed or a recovered artefact. It is anticipated that the larger contribution will come from reports of sites on the seabed, either as known charted wrecks or as unknown charted obstructions. There may be exceptions, such as any unique knowledge of wreck events that occurred in an area that is not (or is no longer) fished, but it is expected that most of the data will pertain to known obstructions on the seabed in present-day fishing grounds. Seabed obstruction data will almost certainly come from screen-grabs of GPS computers, and the information will need to be calibrated and entered into a workable GIS. It may also be possible to acquire text versions of the co-ordinates of the obstructions, but this is likely to require considerable effort on the part of the skipper. The text co-ordinates should be requested along with the images in order to further corroborate the data (Section 3.5).

3.3.5.

3.3.6.

3.3.7.

3.4. 3.4.1. 3.4.2.

3.4.3.

8

3.4.4.

In the case of a recovered artefact which is in the possession of the fishermen or someone they know, WA should seek to obtain a photographic record of the artefact and (where possible) assess it first-hand. Given that most artefacts are likely to be housed in the Western Isles, in-person visits to each newly reported artefact would be impractical. However, it may be worth considering a regular (3 – 6 months) “road show” type event where those housing finds can bring them along to be assessed. This type of event has not been tested as far as WA is aware and may require further research to assess feasibility. CORROBORATION OF DATA Once the data has been acquired, it should be verified against competing reports and then tested against existing databases. This will determine whether the data has intrinsic value improves current knowledge or whether it is superseded by existing datasets and can be discarded. In some cases, reports of wreck sites may contradict standard UKHO or Seazone positions, in which case corroborating fishing reports will hopefully clarify which of the datasets is most precise or which of the details pertaining to the site are correct. By entering the seabed data into a GIS, it will be possible to rapidly compare datasets and corroborate the fishermen’s information. ANALYSIS & INTERPRETATION Once the data has been corroborated, it is anticipated that it will be analysed and interpreted in line with the methodology set out in OHCCMAPP. DISSEMINATION The dissemination of material will take place in accordance with the methodology outlined in OHCCMAPP. Additionally, it would be beneficial to feed back directly to the WI fisheries the results of any finds that were reported by fishermen. This will help maintain good relations with the fishing community and will encourage further participation in future. ACCESSION It is anticipated that the accession of data will take place in accordance with the methodology set out in OHCCMAPP. SUMMARY It is my opinion that a project objective within the OHCCMAPP fold which sought to directly engage with fishermen in order to acquire new and enhance existing data could add significantly to the knowledge base and archaeological archive of the Western Isles. It may also encourage further consideration and respect for the marine archaeological resource within the mariculture community. On a national level, such an initiative is consistent with Historic Scotland’s policy to improve its knowledge of Scotland’s marine cultural heritage, and it may also act as a catalyst for similar projects elsewhere in Scotland. Such a project component would also be also consistent with UK initiatives such as the English Heritage-sponsored Fishing Industry Protocol for Archaeological Discoveries (FIPAD) which is currently being piloted in Sussex (WA 2012a).

3.5. 3.5.1.

3.6. 3.6.1. 3.7. 3.7.1.

3.8. 3.8.1.

4. 4.1.1.

4.1.2.

9

5.

REFERENCES Bicket, A., 2011, Submerged Prehistory in Context. Marine Aggregate Levy Sustainability Fund (MALSF) Science Monograph Series No.5. Ward, I., Larcombe, P., and Veth, I., 1999, A New Process-based Model for Wreck Site Formation. Journal of Archaeological Science 26: 561-570 Wessex Archaeology, 2012a, The Fishing Industry Protocol for Archaeological Discoveries. Unpublished Paper for English Heritage. Ref. 73271.03 Wessex Archaeology, 2012b, The Outer Hebrides Coastal Community Marine Archaeology Pilot Project. Report for RCHAMS. Ref 74400.02 Wheeler, A., 2002, Environmental Controls on Shipwreck Preservation: The Irish Context. Journal of Archaeological Science. Personal Communications Peter Middleton, Economic Development Officer (Marine Resources), CNE-Siar,

p.middleton@cne-siar.gov.uk (01851) 822693

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