Excavations at Pool, Sanday Vol 1 View larger

Excavations at Pool, Sanday - Vol 1

9781902957296

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Sanday is one of the most fertile of the Orkney islands, and this title explores an unusually complete cultural landscape of prehistoric times.  Coastal erosion threatening the site at Pool on the west coast of the island led to its excavation during 1983-8, revealing a long structural sequence from the mid fourth millennium BC to the Norse period of the later 12th century AD.  

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The long settlement sequence at Pool makes it possible to see long-term change in subsistence, as new crops and new animals are added, and yet there is a striking continuity in the basic way of life over almost five millennia that demonstrates a successful adaptation to island life. Substantial Neolithic stone-built structures represented a permanent settlement, housing perhaps more than one family group and using both Grooved Ware and Unstan Ware. The latest Neolithic building was absorbed into a subsequent Iron Age village as a core structural unit and survived through into the Viking period. Outstanding finds include a Pictish symbol stone and an ogham inscription. By the time of the Norse arrival in the eighth or ninth centuries, the settlement had contracted substantially, but had not been abandoned completely. A native population survived alongside the Norse incomers until sometime in the 10th or 11th century, when the distinction became less obvious. 

John Hunter is Professor of Ancient History and Archaeology in the Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity, University of Birmingham.

This book consists of 581 pages and is case bound.

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