Analysis of a wheelhouse and other structures in Grimsay, Western Isles

McKenzie, Alasdair John (2005) Analysis of a wheelhouse and other structures in Grimsay, Western Isles. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis explores the archaeological remains and artefacts recovered from a moorland Iron Age wheelhouse at Bagh nam Feadag on the island of Grimsay which is located between North Uist and Benbecula in the Western Isles of Scotland. The first section of the work discusses the background to the site and places it within its environmental and archaeological context. The second section explores the structural remains found during a previous excavation by an amateur archaeologist and is accompanied with detailed structural drawings by the author along with an overview of the archaeological remains within the surrounding area. The third section details the artefacts recovered by excavation followed by a synthesis based on the evidence obtained. The artefacts recovered consist of a range of items typically associated with this type of settlement, including a substantial mixed ceramic collection from multiple phases of occupation ranging from the middle Iron Age to the post-medieval period. Evidence derived from this artefactual assemblage as well as the author's own field visits and survey of the standing remains, are used to analyse the nature of settlement in this part of the moorland. The site under examination is one of only three moorland wheelhouses to have been excavated in the Western Isles, in contrast to the numerous similar sites that have been studied on the coastal machair. Although structurally many wheelhouses are very similar, the Bagh nam Feadag wheelhouse stands out from many of the others because of its moorland location and substantial remains. The relationship between wheelhouses in the two environments is introduced in the light of recent debate on their nature. The structures at Bagh nam Feadag also represent a long and complex settlement that has been well preserved compared with other examples which have suffered through removal of material for other use, disrupted by township clearances or damaged by natural forces. The mound containing the various structures had remained relatively undisturbed since the 18thcentury, with the land used only for rough grazing and restricted cultivation, until an amateur excavation carried out between 1993 and 1997.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Adviser: Ewan Campbell
Keywords: Archaeology
Date of Award: 2005
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2005-74185
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2019 15:33
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 15:33

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