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Archaeology Notes

Event ID 679279

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Archaeology Notes


NN94NE 10 c. 998 458

On 8 May 1975 a logboat was discovered by contractors engaged in the construction of the new route of the A9 trunk road across the haughland of the middle course of the River Tay to the S of Dalguise village and at an altitude of about 55m OD. The boat lay upside-down just below the surface of the gravel and was removed to a lagoon for recording. It has since been placed in a nearby loch for storage.

Abrasion has reduced the boat to its nearly-flat bottom, which measures 4.58m in length, 0.82 in beam and between 80mm and 100mm in thickness. Both bow and stern are rounded and there is part of a possible projecting sternpost. Near the end which was probably the stern and also 2.14m from it there are two possible thickness-gauge holes measuring about 25mm in diameter; when discovered these were 'closed by reddish chert pebbles rammed in'. The lack of biconicality of these holes has been used to infer the use of a metal drill and consequently a medieval or later date.

When visited by Niall Gregory on 6th August 1992, the boat was lying perpendicular to the shore with about half of its height having been exposed above the surface by a fall in the water level of the loch, the narrower end (and presumed bow) being under water. The surface texture of the upper part was becoming flaky, but little splitting and no warping were evident. The rounded ends were identifiable and the upturned stern in section, while the timber was seen to have be pierced by several small knots, a probable thickness-gauge hole and the locations of two archaeological samples. In its current state, the vessel measures 4.47m in length over all and up to 0.79m in beam (measured at a point 1.3m from the presumed stern). The thickness of the floor varies between 45 and 50mm.

A visit by Mark Hall and others on 28 July 1995, revealed the boat to have been almost entirely beached, the upper surface having become flaky and the exposed end (the presumed stern) being covered with moss and having incipient cracks. Before the boat was re-submerged, it was re-measured and the length recorded as 4.54m, while the thickness of the timber was variously recorded at between 50 and 80mm. The width was measured at the stern, amidships and at the bow, to record figures of 0.72m, 0.77m and 0.4m respectively.

On the evidence of the incomplete remains, the slenderness index was of the order of 5.5 and the form has possibly been that of a variant canoe. The McGrail morphology code is apparently 222:1x2:222, making it a possible variant example of the canoe form.

P Ashmore 1976; R J C Mowat 1996.

NMRS MS/736/4-5, PTD/298/1-2, PTR/35/1 and A41747-9.

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