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Croig Cave: a late Bronze Age ornament deposition and 3,500 years of coastal foraging in NW Mull, Scotland

Mithen, S., Wicks, K., Austin, P., Black, S., Cowie, T., Elliott, S., Ingrem, C. and Smith, S. (2012) Croig Cave: a late Bronze Age ornament deposition and 3,500 years of coastal foraging in NW Mull, Scotland. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 142. pp. 63-132. ISSN 0081-1564

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Abstract/Summary

Activity within caves provides an important element of the later prehistoric and historic settlement pattern of western Scotland. This contribution reports on a small-scale excavation within Croig Cave, on the coast of north-west Mull, that exposed a 1.95m sequence of midden deposits and cave floors that dated bewteen c 1700 BC and AD 1400. Midden analysis indicated the processing of a .... 950 BC, a penannular copper bracelet a discrete ritual episode within the cycle of otherwise potentially mundane activities. Lead isotope analysis indicates an Irish origin for the copper ore. A piece of iron slag within later midden deposits, dated to c 400 BC, along with high frequencies of wood charcoal, suggest that smithing or smelting may have occurred within the cave. High zinc levels in the historic levels of the midden c AD 1200 might indicate intensive processing of seaweed.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Scientific Archaeology
Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Archaeology
ID Code:31394
Publisher:Society of Antiquaries of Scotland

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