Issue: People and their monuments in the Upper Clyde Valley:

Subtitle a programme of survey, field walking and trial excavation in the environs of the Blackshouse Burn Neolithic enclosure, South Lanarkshire, 1989--99
Publication Type
Abstract This report sets out the results of a programme of topographic survey, geophysical survey, field walking and trial excavation, carried out in 1998-99 and funded by Historic Scotland, in and around an extensive upland prehistoric landscape in the Upper Clyde Valley. It was designed to build on the results of limited excavation of a large, late Neolithic enclosure at Blackshouse Burn, South Lanarkshire (centred at NGR NS 9528 4046) and preliminary survey of nearby monuments undertaken in the 1980s, and to identify and characterize prehistoric settlement in the adjacent valleys through field walking. Topographic survey of the enclosures at Blackshouse Burn, Meadowflatts and Chester Hill, and of hut circles, clearance cairns and a possible ring cairn on Cairngryffe and Swaites Hills, recorded a complex ritual and domestic landscape: evidence of the longstanding prehistoric occupation of the Pettinain Uplands. The geophysical survey of Chester Hill enclosure found traces of internal structures and quarry scoop, while geophysical survey of part of the large Blackshouse Burn monument and smaller adjacent enclosure found evidence for a curvilinear feature in the large enclosure and a possible screen in its entrance. The systematic examination of ploughed fields in the valleys to the west and south-west of the upland monument complex discovered several concentrations of lithics, most notably evidence of late Mesolithic tool production and late Neolithic to early Bronze Age tool production and domestic activity. Trial trenches excavated over a late Mesolithic cluster at Carmichael found a knapping floor and several structural features.
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Author Olivia Lelong
Chris S Barrowman
Mike Donnely
Jerry Hammer
Lorna Sharpe
Editor Colin R W Wallace
Debra Barrie
Publisher Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
Other Person/Org Torben Bjarke Ballin (Author contributing)
Year of Publication 2005
Volume 14
ISBN 0-903903-83-0
Source DigitalBorn
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Abstract
Olivia Lelong
Chris S Barrowman
Jerry Hammer
Lorna Sharpe
0
The report sets out the results of a programme of topographic survey, geophysical survey, field walking and trial excavation, carried out in 1998--99, in and around an extensive upland prehistoric landscape in the Upper Clyde Valley. It was designed to build on the results of limited excavation of a large, late Neolithic enclosure at Blackshouse Burn, South Lanarkshire and preliminary survey of nearby monuments undertaken in the 1980s, and to identify and characterize prehistoric settlement in the adjacent valleys through field walking. Topographic survey of the enclosures at Blackshouse Burn, Meadowflatts and Chester Hill, and of hut circles, clearance cairns and a possible ring cairn on Cairngryffe and Swaites Hills, recorded a complex ritual and domestic landscape: evidence of the longstanding prehistoric occupation of the Pettinain Uplands. The geophysical survey of Chester Hill enclosure found traces of internal structures and quarry scoop, while geophysical survey of part of the large Blackshouse Burn monument and smaller adjacent enclosure found evidence for a curvilinear feature in the large enclosure and a possible screen in its entrance. The systematic examination of ploughed fields in the valleys to the west and south-west of the upland monument complex discovered several concentrations of lithics, most notably evidence of late Mesolithic tool production and late Neolithic to early Bronze Age tool production and domestic activity. Trial trenches excavated over a late Mesolithic cluster at Carmichael found a knapping floor and several structural features.
1
This report sets out the results of a programme of topographic survey, geophysical survey, field walking and trial excavation, carried out in 1998-99 and funded by Historic Scotland, in and around an extensive upland prehistoric landscape in the Upper Clyde Valley. It was designed to build on the results of limited excavation of a large, late Neolithic enclosure at Blackshouse Burn, South Lanarkshire (centred at NGR NS 9528 4046) and preliminary survey of nearby monuments undertaken in the 1980s, and to identify and characterize prehistoric settlement in the adjacent valleys through field walking. Topographic survey of the enclosures at Blackshouse Burn, Meadowflatts and Chester Hill, and of hut circles, clearance cairns and a possible ring cairn on Cairngryffe and Swaites Hills, recorded a complex ritual and domestic landscape: evidence of the longstanding prehistoric occupation of the Pettinain Uplands. The geophysical survey of Chester Hill enclosure found traces of internal structures and quarry scoop, while geophysical survey of part of the large Blackshouse Burn monument and smaller adjacent enclosure found evidence for a curvilinear feature in the large enclosure and a possible screen in its entrance. The systematic examination of ploughed fields in the valleys to the west and south-west of the upland monument complex discovered several concentrations of lithics, most notably evidence of late Mesolithic tool production and late Neolithic to early Bronze Age tool production and domestic activity. Trial trenches excavated over a late Mesolithic cluster at Carmichael found a knapping floor and several structural features.
Olivia Lelong
2
The density of monumentality of the archaeological remains on these uplands indicates the area's importance to those living in or travelling to the Upper Clyde Valley during prehistory. The topographic and geophysical surveys, field walking and trial excavation undertaken as part of the project reported upon here, along with the results of the 1980s fieldwork, have produced a more informed understanding of the character and development of the monuments on the uplands and of how the surrounding landscape was inhabited.
Olivia Lelong
3 - 5
This section presents details of location, topography, geology and archaeological background.
Olivia Lelong
6 - 8
This sections presents general aims and specific objectives for the project along with the methodologies employed for topographic survey, geophysical survey, fieldwalking and trial excavation.
Olivia Lelong
9 - 28
The topographical and geophysical survey of the uplands included sites at Blackshouse burn and Meadowflatts, earthworks at Chester Hill, and prehistoric landscapes at Cairngryffe Hill and Swaites Hill. Fieldwalking in the lower slopes and valleys revealed hundreds of lithics, including pitchstone while trial excavation at Carmichael uncovered a late Mesolithic knapping floor, a hearth, a possible post-built structure and a possible ring ditch.
Olivia Lelong
29 - 31
This section first sets out the lithic scatters in the context of other scatters in the region. It then summarises the project's findings and draws attention to the questions raised and the patterns identified in the prehistoric landscape as a result. The topographic and geophysical surveys of the upland monuments have raised certain interpretations and questions that could be tested through future investigation, in addition to creating a digital record of the remains and their topographic settings. The survey also recorded several active and possible management issues. The evidence from Carmichael suggests that the same place was a focus for activity over several millennia, in the late Mesolithic, late Neolithic and early Bronze Age. The later phases of activity here would have been contemporary with the construction and use of the ceremonial monuments on the uplands, particularly those at Blackshouse Burn and Cloburn Quarry.
Olivia Lelong
32
The results, in tandem with other recent work including the excavations on Biggar Common and that of the Upper Clyde Valley Landscape Project, have shown the enormous potential of the valley's landscape for yielding evidence of its early prehistoric occupation. The evidence so far indicates that activity may have taken place continuously or intermittently over several phases, spanning millennia, at the same sites. The fieldwork has demonstrated the great value of lithic scatters in the area as indicators of the presence of sub-surface, multi-phased archaeological remains.
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35 - 36
Olivia Lelong
Chris S Barrowman
Olivia Lelong
Mike Donnely
Mike Donnely
Olivia Lelong
Olivia Lelong
Jerry Hammer
Lorna Sharpe
Olivia Lelong
Chris S Barrowman
Mike Donnely
Jerry Hammer
Lorna Sharpe
Olivia Lelong
Olivia Lelong
Olivia Lelong
Olivia Lelong