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Post-excavation: Radiocarbon Dates

Table of Radiocarbon dates
Structure / Phase Lab code Material dated Context Radiocarbon date, calibrated to 95.4% confidence (two sigma)
5

SUERC-26136

Cattle tooth

205 trampled hearth waste

750 – 390 BC

5

SUERC-26148

Single grain of Hordeum vulgare var vulgare

238 first external midden deposit

740 – 390 BC

5

SUERC-26144

Cattle distal humerus

234 old ground surface

410 – 230 BC

After 5

SUERC-26135

Cattle tooth

171 thick occupation deposit

400 – 200 BC

After 5

SUERC-26142

Cattle tibia

130 midden with shells and bone

380 – 200 BC

After 5

SUERC-26138

Sheep/goat scapula

102 loose midden over rubble 144

210 – 40 BC

3

SUERC-26147

Salix charcoal

090 scorched clay in floor

200 – 40 BC

1

SUERC-26145

Single grain of Hordeum vulgare sl

038=049 hearth waste

160 BC – AD 60

1

SUERC-26143

Sheep/goat mandible

184 occupation deposit under/between paving 124

110 BC – AD 60

2 and 3

SUERC-26146

Single grain of Hordeum vulgare sl

057 trample in both cells

50 BC – AD 9

1

SUERC-26126

Burnt cattle bone/?tooth

122 midden

40 BC – AD 130

1

SUERC-26127

Burnt horse tooth

127 hearth/occupation waste

AD 0 – 140

1

SUERC-26133

Cattle tooth

033 midden/occupation material

AD 80 -240

3

SUERC-26134

Cattle tooth

036 occupation deposit

AD 80 – 240

After partial collapse of structures

SUERC-26132

Cattle tooth

007 sandy midden

AD 80 – 240

5

SUERC-26137

Cattle tooth fragment

215 hearth waste over paving 220

AD 120 – 330

2

SUERC-26125

Burnt cattle bone/?tooth

059 heap of bog iron ore

AD 130 – 340

Burial

SUERC-10745

Human rib bone

022 burial

AD 130 - 390

Latest phase of occupation

SUERC-26128

Cattle tooth

005 occupation layer on surface of sand dune

AD 400 – 550

The 19 radiocarbon dates, which were funded by Historic Scotland, are listed above from earliest to latest. They have gone a long way towards resolving questions about how long the settlement was occupied and how its different elements evolved. Although there are several anomalous dates, overall they demonstrate the development of the settlement from the middle Iron Age until its abandonment by as early as the second century AD. Structure 5 was constructed first during the middle of the first millennium BC, followed by the other compartments during the last two centuries BC to the first century AD. The collapse of the structures, their being covered with windblown sand and the insertion of the inhumation burial appear to have taken place in relatively short order during the second to fourth centuries AD. A final phase of probably temporary occupation took place on the sand dune that covered the Iron Age building during the fifth to sixth centuries AD. The publication report will consider the implications of these radiocarbon dates within the context of the stratigraphic and artefactual evidence.

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