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Eigg, Laig

Boat Stem(S) (Viking)

Site Name Eigg, Laig

Classification Boat Stem(S) (Viking)

Canmore ID 22163

Site Number NM48NE 3

NGR NM 472 878

NGR Description NM c. 472 878

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/22163

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Small Isles
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Lochaber
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Archaeology Notes

NM48NE 3 c. 472 878.

(Area NM 472 878). Two pieces of carved wood (probably stem/stern posts of a boat) about 6ft long were discovered lying some 30 ft apart while draining a moss on the W side of Eigg. The site is a low track of land formerly a peat-moss, extending from the sea below Laig farmhouse about 1/2 mile long from W-E and about 1/4 mile broad N-S, rising gently from sea-level to form 30-50 ft at the E.

The posts appear to be of oak. They are in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS).

N MacPherson 1878; S Greig 1940

No further information. Boat stems.

Visited by OS (AA) 7 May 1972

A glass fibre cast of one of these stems is held in the Royal Museum of Scotland (RMS).

PSAS 1981.

The storage of partly-worked stems under water (which subsequently became bog) is a practice which is well-attested in Scandinavia and would have served to keep the timber moist for ease of subsequent working. Landings for the ends of six pairs of strakes have been worked on one of the Eigg stems and would have defined the future run of planking.

Eigg stem 1 is of bevelled, hollowed and stepped form, while Eigg stem 2 is bevelled and stepped with a flat face.

S McGrail 1987.

The stems are held in the RMS under accession number NMS IN 4-5.

Information from Dr F Hunter (RMS), 20 March 1998.

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