The initial dates are back from our work in 2018 at Fearnan Hotel. It would appear that most, or indeed all, of what we examined this past summer dates to the early medieval period. This is common on crannogs across Scotland, and is paralleled at Loch Tay at Dall Bay North, Milton Morenish and Eilean Breaban.

View of Fearnan Hotel Crannog from the surface looking north towards the shore.

Due to the very deep deposit of stone on the top of the crannog, we had some difficulty excavating there, and the challenging nature of the site has extended into the radiocarbon results. We were hoping to uncover further evidence for Early Iron Age phases of use, something which was indicated by a radiocarbon date taken in 1979. Fearnan Hotel is of particular interest due to being in close proximity to Oakbank crannog, so contemporary activity would be exciting. However, our results so far suggest that the majority of the activity which we uncovered took place in the second half of the first millennium AD. This would suggest that the site saw substantial reoccupation at this time, on top of an earlier Iron Age crannog. Further activity sometime in the first few centuries of the second millennium AD is indicated well. All of these later dates come from timbers found in Trench 3 which was located at the base of the crannog mound.

Rangefinder radiocarbon dates from Fearnan Hotel crannog.

To find activity during this time at Fearnan Hotel crannog is notable as well for the fact that Fortingall and its associated early medieval landscape is located just over 2 km from Fearnan. In all likelihood, the Fearnan Hotel crannog was in use while the much of the early medieval activity at Fortingall was taking place. However, further exploration of this phase of use of crannogs will be left for a future project.

We will now take forward taking of one of the small timbers recovered from Trench 2 which was located on top of the crannog mound. The organic spreads we uncovered there may relate to the Early Iron Age activity indicated by the 1979 radiocarbon date, or the early medieval activity suggested by this most recent dating.