Neolithic People Made Artificial Islands More Than 5,600 Years Ago

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Neolithic People Made Artificial Islands More Than 5,600 Years Ago

 

It was long believed by many researchers that the hundreds of tiny islands around Scotland were built around 800 BC. They thought that these artificial islands, known as crannogs, were made during the Iron age about 2,800 years ago. These islands were reused until post-medieval times in AD 1700.

 

Photo Credit: Antiquity Publications Ltd (via Livescience)

 

During the 1980s, there were suspicions that some of these islands were made much earlier. The idea was later on fed by Chris Murray, a former Royal Navy diver. He found well-preserved Neolithic pots on the lake floor near some of the islands. In 2016, two U.K archaeologists, Duncan Garrow from the University of Reading and Fraser Sturt from the University of Southampton, teamed up to investigate. They took a comprehensive look at several crannogs in the Outer Hebrides, particularly the islets in three lakes such as Loch Arnish, Loch Bhorgastail, and Loch Langabhat.

 

Photo Credit: Antiquity Publications Ltd (via Livescience)

 

Live Science, a science news website that features groundbreaking developments in science, space, technology, health, the environment, our culture, and history, reported that the crannogs are much older than previously thought. The islands were found to be built out of boulders, clay, and timbers by Neolithic people about 5,600 years ago. These were also served as “special locations” for them. The researchers discovered that four of the crannogs were created between 3640 BC and 3360 BC. Each of the islets measured approximately 33 feet (10 meters) across. It also showed that those who made them did a lot of effort. 

 

Photo Credit: Antiquity Publications Ltd (via Livescience)

 

As of now, they are still looking for any Neolithic structures on the islands which means more excavations are needed. There are also several pieces of evidence that support the idea that these particular islets date back to the Neolithic period. These include ground and underwater surveys, palaeoenvironmental coring, and excavation. The researchers also found pottery fragments, which the Neolithic people are believed to have used for rituals, around the islets at Bhorgastail and Langabhat. 

 

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