Modern or medieval? Analysis of an iron anchor from Camuscross, Scotland and directdating methods for metal artefacts

Daniel Claggett, John Kennington McCarthy, William Murray, Erin Madeline Sebo, Arne Jouttijärvi, Matthias C. Hüls, Jonathan Benjamin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In 2009, an iron anchor was found by the coast of Camuscross, Isle of Skye, Scotland after the digging of a drainage channel exposed the object. There was initial speculation in media coverage that the anchor might be Viking, perhaps dating between the 9th–12th centuries CE. However, due to its damaged condition and the lack of precise stratigraphic context, determining the age of the anchor has been challenging. This article will discuss a subsequent program of investigation to date the anchor, including metallurgical and radiometric analysis, and will present a number of possible interpretations based on this analysis. It will also consider the broader context and implications of using the two analytical methods of absolute dating applied to the anchor and how they can help to improve interpretation of archaeological materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-152
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Volume25
Early online date17 Apr 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

Keywords

  • Archaeometallurgy
  • Maritime archaeology
  • Northern European seafaring
  • Typology

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