Yesterday, the Living on Water team finished sampling Area X. This annex to the main crannog structure is a relatively unique feature of Oakbank crannog compared to other crannogs across Scotland.
Timbers at Oakbank, and indeed most other submerged crannogs, are fantastically preserved and look fresh, as if they were cut down yesterday. They surface of the timbers are so well preserved in most cases that they bear evidence of the tools used to cut them down. Work by Rob Sands was carried out in the 1990s examining tool marks on Oakbank crannog timbers, and it was possible to identify individual tools in many cases.
Sampling in Area X will enable high precision dating of the timbers to assess whether the annex was part of the original structure of the crannog or if it was a later addition. There might also be phasing within the annex itself. Answers to these questions are subjects for future blog posts though!