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South Ronaldsay, Blows Moss

Dagger (Flint), Organic Material

Site Name South Ronaldsay, Blows Moss

Classification Dagger (Flint), Organic Material

Canmore ID 9534

Site Number ND48NE 7

NGR ND 4540 8592

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Orkney Islands
  • Parish South Ronaldsay
  • Former Region Orkney Islands Area
  • Former District Orkney
  • Former County Orkney

Archaeology Notes

ND48NE 7 4540 8592

A beautiful flaked flint dagger, 5 5/16" long and about 2" max width, was found while cutting peats in Blows Moss, South Ronaldsay in 1888.

J G Callander 1931.


Environmental Sampling (June 2006)

ND 45457 85895 In this PhD project high-resolution palaeoenvironmental records are being reconstructed as

described under Whaness Burn.

In June 2006 a 6.5m core was recovered from a large wetland (approx. 1250 x 250m). Three radiocarbon dates

have been obtained on this core – SUERC-17185 (6402 ±39 BP), SUERC-17186 (4864 ±38 BP), and SUERC-17187 (3238 ±78 BP).

Pollen, charcoal, non-pollen palynomorph and plant microstructure analyses on the core have shown that woodland decline at this site occurred at c6500 BP, much earlier than the generally accepted date for this event in Orkney of c5000 BP. Intensive pastoral activity occurred in the vicinity of the site during the Neolithic and this activity further intensified during the Bronze Age. Cereal cultivation also took place near the site at this time. Grazing activity declined at a later date, although low levels of arable cultivation continued. The timing of the decline in grazing activity is currently unclear.

Report: Orkney SMR (intended). Results to be included in University of Hull PhD thesis (2009)

Funder: The University of Hull and NERC

Michelle Farrell and M Jane Bunting (University of Hull), 2008


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