Today we begin work at Dall Bay North. Last year we opened trenches at Dall Bay South, only 50 metres from Dall Bay North. Both of these crannogs have produced dates from the Early Iron Age, and our wiggle-match dating at Dall Bay South is nearly ready to be announced, so stay tuned for that. This pair of crannogs are the closest neighbouring crannogs in the loch, so it is critical to know if these two were built and occupied at the same time, just after one another, or separated by many decades or even centuries.

Dall Bay with Dall Bay North and Dall Bay South fully submerged in shot.

Dall Bay North has also produced a date from the early medieval period, while Dall Bay South has not. So we may be able to identify a change in how crannogs were used through time here. If the pair were occupied at the same time in the Early Iron Age, while only one was used in the early medieval period, we might be able to say that isolation on the loch was more important in this later period. If in the Early Iron Age the pair were not occupied at the same time, then this begs the question, why build whichever came second in a different location? We know most other excavated crannogs see repeated pulses of use, including in the Early Iron Age, so what prompted the move?

These questions and more will be what we hope to gain from our two weeks of fieldwork at Dall Bay. We’ll be keeping our Twitter and Facebook up to date with everything we find at Dall Bay North, so be sure to follow us – @LivingonwaterUK (Twitter) and @LivingonWater (Facebook).