Issue: Neolithic domesticity and other prehistoric anomalies: excavations at Laigh Newton, East Ayrshire

Publication Type
Abstract A series of archaeological evaluations and excavations at Laigh Newton in East Ayrshire revealed evidence for intermittent occupation of this valley terrace between the Mesolithic and the Late Iron Age. The plough-truncated archaeology included the remains of a rectangular building and associated features of the mid-late fourth millennium BC, a more ephemeral structure and related pits of the mid third millennium BC, a charcoal-burning pit of the mid-first millennium AD and two other rectilinear structures of indeterminate date.
Downloads
sair49.pdf (3 MB): Download
Author Ronan Toolis
Issue Editor Helen Bleck
Publisher Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
Historic Scotland
Council for British Archaeology
Other Person/Org Jo Bacon (Illustrator)
Gillian McSwan (Illustrator)
Ingrid Shearer (Illustrator)
Year of Publication 2011
Volume 49
ISBN 978 0903 903 516
Source DigitalBorn
Relations
Monograph Chapter Title Sort Order Both Arrows Access Type Author / Editor Page
Start/End Sort Order Up Arrow
Abstract
1
A series of archaeological evaluations and excavations at Laigh Newton in East Ayrshire revealed evidence for intermittent occupation of this valley terrace between the Mesolithic and the Late Iron Age. The plough-truncated archaeology included the remains of a rectangular building and associated features of the mid-late fourth millennium BC, a more ephemeral structure and related pits of the mid third millennium BC, a charcoal-burning pit of the mid-first millennium AD and two other rectilinear structures of indeterminate date.
2
A series of evaluations and excavations were undertaken in advance of a proposed extension to Loudon Hill Quarry. Plough-truncated prehistoric features and medieval remains were found. The report deals only with the prehistoric remains. The medieval features will be reported on elsewhere.
3
The prehistoric remains were found in three discrete concentrations, the location of which is illustrated.
Heather F James
Dave Swan
Joe Somerville
4 - 11
Most of the remains comprised discrete features with no demonstrable stratigraphic relationships to each other. However, as many of the features apparently formed discrete clusters it was possible to recognise probable spatial relationships between individual features. Four structures and a cluster of pits were identified.
Heather F James
Charlotte Francoz
Joe Somerville
12
Summary note on the remains of a medieval farmstead which will be reported on elsewhere.
Martin Carruthers
Kirsteen McLellan
13 - 16
A structure and numerous pits were revealed. Charcoal, carbonised haze nutshell. worked flint and fine well-fired pottery were recovered from some of the features.
Joe Somerville
17 - 18
Two shallow pits contained flint chips and blades, prehistoric and medieval pottery sherds and carbonised grains.
19
Full specialist reports form part of the site archive. Summaries are reproduced in this report.
Beverley Ballin-Smith
20 - 24
A total of 195 sherds representing a minimum of 16 vessels from the early Neolithic to the Bronze Age was recovered. The assemblage included early Neolithic bowls, grooved ware and Beaker sherds.
Beverley Ballin-Smith
25
A total of 14 pieces of daub or clay were recovered. A few had been associated with wattle hurdles while two were definitely identified as daub. Most were small, rolled and heavily abraded and their positive identification as daub is less secure.
Torben Bjarke Ballin
26 - 29
The assemblage of seventy four lithics comprised chips, flakes, indeterminate pieces (flakes or cores), blades and microblades, cores and tools.
Susan Ramsey
31 - 36
During the earlier phases of occupation the surrounding woodlands wee probably still relatively undisturbed providing a range of typical lowland woodland tree species for fuel and construction. Hazel nut fragments in some pits may indicate a Mesolithic or early Neolithic date. Evidence for Neolithic agriculture was found in the form of carbonised emmer and bread wheat together with naked barley. Charcoal production was taking place and may be related to industrial activity of some kind.
37 - 43
Ploughing had removed occupation layers and all but the deepest features, in addition to removing artefacts from their original contexts. A fragment of willow charcoal produced a Mesolithic date although no features could be attributed to the period. Coherent clusters of features have been tentatively tied into specific chronological episodes of occupation (early Neolithic, late Neolithic-early Bronze Age, Iron Age and medieval).
44
It is argued that what distinguishes Laigh Newton from many other contemporary Neolithic dwelling sites is the absence of any demonstrable evidence for overtly ritual activity.
45
46 - 48
49
50
51
52
53
54 - 56
57 - 58
59
60
61 - 62
63
64 - 65
66
67 - 68
69 - 70
71