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The ARCHEOLOGICAL IMPORTANCE of ANCIENT BRITISH LAKEDWELLINGS and their relation to ANALOGOUS REMAINS in EUROPE. BY ROBERT MUNRO, M.A., M.D.

It appears to me that the time has now arrived when an effort should be made to interpret the historical value of the antiquities recovered from the sites of ancient lake dwellings, now so numerously discovered and recorded in this country. For the purpose of furthering this object I have prepared a short epitome of the main facts of these discoveries, together with certain inferences which they appear to me to suggest, with the view of eliciting the opinions of members of this Institute, many of whom are particularly competent to deal with the problem. However much variety or novelty may add to the interest attached to such discoveries, it must never be forgotten that their scientific value is to be determined by the extent to which they can be made to enrich our knowledge of the past phases of human civilisation. When we consider that ancient authors are not altogether silent on the habit which prevailed among some races of erecting wooden abodes in lakes and marshes, and that some of the Swiss lake villages were occupied as late as the Roman period, and that frequent references have been made in the Irish annals to stockaded islands, and that a similar custom is found to be still prevalent among some of the ruder races of mankind in various parts of the globe-it is somewhat remarkable that the investigation of these rich repositories of the remains of prehistoric man should have been so long overlooked.

To the late Sir W. R. Wilde we are indebted for the first systematic examination of any of the Irish crannogs. This was as early as 1839, and consequently preceded the discovery of the Swiss lake-dwellings by fifteen years.

The first examined was that of Lagore, in county Meath, full particulars of which are given in the first volume of the Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. After this other crannogs were discovered in rapid succession, and it soon became apparent that they existed very generally over the county. When Sir W. R. Wilde published his Catalogue of the Museum of the Royal Irish Academy in 1857, he states that no less than forty-six were known, and adds that he had no doubt that many others would be exposed to view as the drainage of the country advanced, a statement which has been amply verified because every succeeding year has seen an increase to their number.

According to this author crannogs "were not, strictly speaking, artificial islands, but cluans, small islets or shallows of clay or marl in those lakes which were probably dry in summer time,

appear to have been rectangular in shape, and formed of wattle or hurdle-work of small branches, woven between the upright piles and plastered over with clay. Each had a hearth formed of two or three large slabs overlying a bed of clay.

The earliest founders of these dwellings were, according to Keller, a branch of the Celtic population, who came into Europe as a pastoral people, bringing with them from the east the most important domestic animals. The absence of winter corn and hemp, of most of the culinary vegetables, as well as of the domestic fowl, which was unknown to the Greeks till about the time of Pericles, points to the period of their occupancy as a long way antecedent to the Christian era.

It was not till after these discoveries on the Continent had attracted universal attention that archaeologists began to look for similar remains in Britain. It was then found that early historic references to island forts, and some incidental notices of the exposure of buried islands artificially constructed of wood and stone, and other remains of lacustrine abodes, during the drainage of lochs and marshes in the last and early part of this century, had been entirely overlooked. The merit of correctly interpreting these remains in Scotland, and bringing them systematically before antiquaries, belongs to the late Joseph Robertson, Esq., F.S.A. Scot., who read a paper on the subject to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland on the 14th December, 1857, entitled, "Notices of the Isle of the Loch of Banchory, the Isle of Loch Canmor, and other Scottish examples of the artificial or stockaded islands, called crannoges in Ireland, and Keltischen Pfahlbauten in Switzerland."

Mr. Robertson's paper, though not published, at once attracted attention, and stimulated so much further inquiry on the part of the members, that, at the very next meeting of the Society, another contribution on the subject was read by Mr. John Mackinlay, F.S.A. Scot., from which it appeared that as early as 1812 this gentleman had observed some remains (now surmised to be a crannog) in Dhu Loch, in the island of Bute, which were described in a letter dated the 13th February, 1813. This communication found its way to George Chalmers, Esq., author of "Caledonia," regarding which, writing on the 26th April, 1813, he says: "It goes directly to illustrate some of the obscurest antiquities of Scotland. I mean the wooden castles, which belong to the Scottish period when stone and lime were not much used in building. I will make proper use of this discovery of Mr. Mackinlay." In 1863, Dr. John Gigor, of Nairn, described "two ancient lake-dwellings or crannoges in the Loch of the Clans, Nairnshire." The remains, however, were too imperfect to be of value in illustrating their structure, and

the only relics found were a portion of a small stone cup or lamp, two whetstones, an iron axehead, and some charcoal and bits of bone.

A more important discovery, made about the same time, was a group of artificial islands in Loch Dowalton, Wigtownshire, which were first described by his Grace the Duke of Northumberland (then Lord Lovaine) in a paper read at the Newcastleupon-Tyne meeting of the British Association in 1863. About two years later Mr. John Stuart, Secretary to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, visited Dowalton, and, owing to a greater drainage of the loch having been made in the interval, was enabled to re-examine the Dowalton islands under more favourable circumstances. The result of his labours was an elaborate paper to the Society, in which he gave a detailed account of the structure and relics of these crannogs, and also took the opportunity of incorporating into his article all the facts he could glean, so as to afford a basis for comparing the Scottish examples with those in other countries.

Since the publication of Dr. Stuart's paper in 1866, little progress was made in the investigation of Scottish crannogs, though traces of them were occasionally noticed in various parts of Scotland, till the discovery and examination of the Lochlee Crannog, Ayrshire, in 1878-9. The work done at Lochlee is important, not only because of the careful plans and sections made of the structure of the island, and the varied collection of relics secured, but because of the interest it has excited in archæological research, the fruit of which is already being reaped in the discovery of no less than five other lake-dwellings in the south-west of Scotland, all of which have now, as far as practicable, been carefully investigated. Full details of these investigations are given in the collections of the Ayrshire and Galloway Archaeological Association, as well as in my recent work on the Scottish Lake-Dwellings.

South of the Scottish border the remains of lake-dwellings, though not so numerous as those recorded in Ireland and North Britain, are sufficiently important to claim a passing notice. As early as 1856 Sir Charles F. Bunbury described certain oak piles and cut portions of deer horns, evidently manipulated by human agency, which were discovered imbedded in the moss of a drained mere near Wretham Hall, Norfolk; and in 1866 General Pitt Rivers read a lengthy paper at the Anthropological Society, entitled, "A Description of Certain Piles found near London Wall and Southwark, possibly the remains of PileBuildings." Among the relics here collected were Samian and other pottery, bronze and iron implements, leather soles of shoes, and a variety of Roman coins. Other remains, supposed to

indicate the sites of former lacustrine abodes, are recorded as having been found in Llangorse Lake, South Wales, Barton Mere, near Bury St. Edmunds, &c., and quite recently in the Holderness district near Hull. (See "Ancient Scottish LakeDwellings," &c.).

While such general indications of lake-dwellings can hardly be said to limit their geographical distribution to any given area in Britain, it is a singular fact that, so far as the discovery of actual remains illustrative of the civilisation and social condition of their occupiers is concerned, we are almost entirely dependent on the investigation made at Dowalton, Lochlee, Lochspouls, Buston, Arricouland and Barhapple, all of which are within the counties of Ayr and Wigtown. In instituting a comparison between these groups their analogy, not only as regards the structure and local distribution of the islands, but as regards the general character of the relics, is so wonderfully alike that we have no difficulty in dispensing with the necessity of discussing the merits of each group separately; so that whatever inferences can be legitimately derived from a critical examination of any one group may be safely applied to the whole.

All the wooden islands hitherto examined in Scotland appear to have been built after an uniform plan, the main objects of which were to give stability to the island, to afford fixed points, points d'appui, on its surface, and to prevent the superincumbent pressure of whatever buildings were to be erected on it from causing the general mass to bulge outwards. Having fixed on a suitable locality-the topographical requirements of which seemed to be a small mossy lake, with its margin overgrown with reeds and grasses, and secluded amidst the thick meshes of the primeval forests-the next consideration was the selection of the materials for building the island. In a lake containing the soft and yielding sediment due to decomposed vegetable matter, it is manifest that any heavy substances, as stones and earth, would be totally inadmissible owing to their weight, so that solid logs of wood, provided there was an abundant supply at hand, would be the best and cheapest material that could be used. To construct in 10 or 12 feet of water, virtually floating over an unfathomable quagmire, a solid compact island, with a circular area of 100 feet or more in diameter, and capable of enduring for centuries as a retreat for men and animals, was no mean problem to contend with, even from the point of view of a skilful modern engineer, and yet the execution of this work in these early times is actually the outcome of the highest mechanical principles that the circumstances would admit of.

The general plan adopted was to construct an island of fascines, stems of trees and brushwood laid transversely, mingled

with stones and earth. This mass was pinned together towards the margin by a series of stockades which were firmly united by intertwining branches, or in the more elegantly constructed crannogs by horizontal beams with mortised holes to receive the uprights. These horizontal beams were arranged in two ways. Some lay along the circumference and bound together all the uprights in the semi-circle, while others took the radial position and connected each circle together. The external ends of these radial beams were occasionally observed to be continuous with additional strengthening materials, such as wooden props and large stones, which, in some cases, also appeared to act as a breakwater. Frequently a wooden gangway, probably submerged, stretched to the shore, by means of which secret access to the crannog could be obtained without the use of a canoe. These gangways were most ingeniously constructed, but there has been no evidence to show that the uprights supported a superaqueous platform.

The great value, however, of the investigations of the lakedwellings in the south-west of Scotland depends on the quantity and variety of the remains of human industry discovered in and around their sites. It is from such fragmentary evidence as is supplied by food-refuse, stray ornaments, broken weapons, useless and worn-out implements, and such-like waifs and strays of human occupancy, that archæologists attempt to reconstruct the outlines of the social life and organisation of the prehistoric past. To those who may wish to occupy themselves with this problem these explorations furnish a vast collection of objects made of stone, bone, horn, wood, bronze, iron and gold.

Among the stone objects are-querns, hammer-stones, whetstones, so-called sling-stones, a few cup-marked stones (one surrounded by concentric circles), spindle-whorls, flint flakes and scrapers, a polished celt, a perforated axe-hammer head, portions of two polished circular discs, and an oval implement with two wrought hollowed surfaces.

Bones and the horns of deer were utilised in various ways and manufactured into pins, needles, bodkins, awls, picks, toiletcombs, knife handles, &c. The combs are neatly formed of three or four flat pieces kept in position by two transverse slips, one on each side, and rivetted together by iron rivets. They are ornamented by a series of incised circles, which are sometimes connected by a running scroll.

The wooden articles consist of bowls, ladles, a mallet, a hoe, clubs, &c., together with a variety of other objects apparently intended for agricultural purposes.

Implements and weapons of iron are numerous; amongst the former are gouges, chisels, knives, shears, saws, hatchets, awls,

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