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Southern Kintyre Project

Interactions across the Irish Sea

Vicki Cummings with Gary Robinson (Bangor University)

The aim of the project is to provide a detailed understanding of prehistoric interactions across the Irish Sea. The Southern Kintyre Project was established in 2006 to address this issue through a study of prehistoric interactions from the late Mesolithic to the Bronze Age. Over the last two years, generously funded by the British Academy and the Prehistoric Society, we have conducted fieldwork in this area. We have fieldwalked 30 fields, obtaining flint from every field investigated, including a number of large lithic scatters. Fieldwalking has identified two new major late Mesolithic scatters at Macharioch and Machribeg, as well as a range of Neolithic and Bronze Age scatters. Small-scale excavation at the Macharioch scatter uncovered part of a rectangular ditched structure: initial interpretation suggests that it represents a Neolithic structure cut through a late Mesolithic scatter. In Kintyre no evidence for later prehistoric settlement was thought to exist until the construction of Iron Age hillforts and duns but in 2007 survey and trial excavation found Bronze Age houses and field systems on. In 2008 we are returning to Kintyre to conduct more fieldwork and fieldwalking.

Publications

Cummings, V. and Robinson, G. 2007. Interactions across the Irish Sea: the Southern Kintyre Project. Scottish Archaeological News 53, 6-7.

Cummings, V. and Robinson, G. 2007. Interactions across the Irish Sea: the Southern Kintyre Project. PAST 55, 12-13. http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prehistoric/past/past55.pdf