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Decoding Neolithic islets in the Outer Hebrides

Mysterious islets constructed by Neolithic people around 5,000 years ago were the topic of a fascinating talk by Dr Mike Copper of Bradford University to IAG in January 2024.

In his talk "Decoding the Islets" Dr Copper explained how the Islands of Stone project has investigated a series of artificial crannogs, or islets, in shallow lochs on the islands of the Outer Hebrides.

Underwater and terrestrial excavations and surveys carried out by Dr Copper and his colleagues have revealed that the islets were carefully constructed out of rocks and organic material and connected by causeways to the shores.

Elaborately decorated Neolithic pottery of fine quality has been discovered in large quantities on and around the structures. Analysis of deposits on the pots has revealed traces of meat and milk, leading some archaeologists to speculate that the islets were special gathering places where people would meet and feast together, and that the pottery was deliberately deposited in the lochs.

For more information take a look at the Islands of Stone website.

Dr Copper's talk was the first in IAG's 2024 programme of events. Subjects for forthcoming talks include the history of Settle and the archaeology of Skipton woods. Take a look a the events page for full details.


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