Skip to main content
×
Home

Maritime Havens in Earlier Prehistoric Britain

  • Richard Bradley (a1), Alice Rogers (a2), Fraser Sturt (a3), Aaron Watson (a4), Diana Coles (a5), Julie Gardiner (a6) and Ronnie Scott (a7)...
Abstract

It is widely accepted that between the beginning of the Early Neolithic period and the end of the Early Bronze Age different regions of Britain were connected to one another by sea, but little is known about the nature of maritime contacts before plank-built boats developed during the 2nd millennium bc. This paper considers a series of coastal sites, some of which were first settled from Mesolithic times. From the early 4th millennium they were also associated with artefact production and the use of imported objects and raw materials. Their distribution focuses on the region of isostatic uplift in northern Britain where the ancient shoreline still survives. It is considered in relation to a new model of coastal change which suggests that these locations were characterised by natural havens sheltered behind islands or bars. The sites can be compared with the ‘landing places’ and ‘beach markets’ discussed by historical archaeologists in recent years.

RÉSUMÉ

Paradis maritimes dansla première partie de la préhistoire britannique, de Richard Bradley, Alice Rogers, Fraser Sturt, et Aaron Watson

Il est communément accepté qu’entre le début de la période du néolithique ancien et la fin de l’âge du bronze ancien différentes régions de Grande-Bretagne étaient reliées entre elles par la mer, mais nous ne savons que peu de chose de la nature de ces contacts maritimes avant le développement des bateaux assemblés de planches au cours du deuxième millénaire av. J.-C. Cette étude examine une série de sites côtiers, dont certains furent occupés dès les temps mésolithiques. A partir du quatrième millénaire, ils étaient aussi associés à la production d’objets façonnés et à l’utilisation d’objets et de matières premières importés. Leur répartition se concentre sur la région du rebond isostatique de la Grande-Bretagne du nord, là où l’ancien littoral subsiste toujours. Nous l’examinons en relation avec une nouveau modèle des changements côtiers qui laisse penser que ces lieux se caractérisaient par des ports naturels abrités derrière des îles ou des barres. On peut comparer ces sites aux ‘embarcadères’ ou aux ‘marchés de plage’, dont ont discuté les archéologues historiens ces dernières années.

ZUSSAMENFASSUNG

Maritime Häfen in der frühen Prähistorie Großbritanniens, von Richard Bradley, Alice Rogers, Fraser Sturt, und Aaron Watson

Es gilt als allgemein anerkannt, dass zwischen dem Beginn des Frühneolithikums und dem Ende der Frühbronzezeit verschiedene Regionen Großbritanniens miteinander auf dem Seeweg verbunden waren, aber wenig ist über die Art maritimer Kontakte bekannt für die Zeit vor der Entwicklung von aus Planken erbauten Booten im 2. Jahrtausend v. Chr. Dieser Beitrag erörtert eine Reihe von Küstenfundorten, von denen einige seit dem Mesolithikum besiedelt waren. Sie waren seit dem frühen 4. Jahrtausend zudem verknüpft mit der Herstellung von Artefakten und dem Gebrauch von importierten Objekten und Rohmaterialien. Ihre Verteilung konzentriert sich auf jene Region der isostatischen Hebung im nördlichen Großbritannien, in der die vorgeschichtliche Küstenlinie noch erhalten ist. Dies wird in Beziehung gesetzt zu einem neuen Modell des Wandels des Küstenverlaufs, das nahe legt, dass diese Orte durch natürliche, von Inseln oder Nehrungen geschützte Häfen charakterisiert werden. Diese Plätze können verglichen werden mit „Landeplätzen“ und „Strandmärkten“, wie sie Historische Archäologen in den letzten Jahren diskutieren.

RESUMEN

Refugios marítimos durante la Prehistoria Reciente en Inglaterra, por Richard Bradley, Alice Rogers, Fraser Sturt, y Aaron Watson

Está ampliamente aceptado que entre el inicio del Neolítico Antiguo y el final del Bronce Antiguo diferentes regiones de Bretaña estaban conectadas por mar, aunque poco se sabe sobre la naturaleza de los contactos marítimos antes de que se construyeran los primeros botes con tablones en el II milenio BC. Este artículo se centra en una serie de yacimientos costeros, algunos de los cuales fueron fundados en época mesolítica. Desde el inicio del IV milenio estos sitios se asocian con la producción de artefactos y con el uso de objetos y materias primas importadas. Su distribución se centra en el área de emersión isostática del norte de Inglaterra, donde aún se conserva la antigua línea de costa. Esta distribución se aborda desde un nuevo modelo de cambio costero que sugiere que estas localizaciones eran refugios marítimos protegidos detrás de islas o barreras. Los asentamientos pueden ser comparados con los ‘lugares de amarre’ y los ‘mercados costeros’ planteados en los últimos años por los arqueólogos históricos.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Anderson-Whymark H. & Garrow D. 2015. Seaways and shared ways: imagining and imaging the movement of people, objects and ideas over the course of the Mesolithic – Neolithic transition, c. 5000–3500 bc . In H. Anderson-Whymark, D. Garrow & F. Sturt (eds), Continental Connections, 5977. Oxford: Oxbow
Ballin T. 2009. Archaeological Pitchstone in Northern Britain. Oxford: British Archaeological Report 476
Ballin T. 2011. Overhowden and Airhouse, Scottish Borders: characterisation and interpretation of two spectacular lithic assemblages from sites near the Overhowden Henge. Oxford: British Archaeological Report 539
Ballin T. 2014. A ‘new’ lithic raw material from Moray. Institute for Archaeologists, Scottish Group Newsletter April 2014, 1012
Ballin T., Barrowman C. & Faithfull J. 2008. Blackpark Plantation, East Bute. Transactions of the Buteshire Natural History Society 27, 51
Ballin T. & Faithfull J. 2014. Stotfield ‘cherty rock’/silcrete. A ‘new’ lithic raw material from Scotland. Chartered Institute for Archaeologists Finds Group Newsletter Autumn/Winter 2014, 38
Barnes F. 1955. Prehistoric pottery from North End, Walney. Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland Archaeological Society 55, 116
Barnes F. & Hobbs E. 1950. Newly discovered flint-chipping sites in the Walney Island locality. Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland Archaeological Society 50, 2029
Barrett J., Bradley R. & Green M. 1991. Landscape, Monuments and Society: the prehistory of Cranborne Chase. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Black G. 1891. Report on the archaeological examination of the Culbin Sands, Elginshire. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 25, 484511
Bradley R. 2000. The Good Stones: a new investigation of the Clava Cairns. Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
Bradley R. 2005. The Moon and the Bonfire: an investigation of three stone circles in North-east Scotland. Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
Bradley R. & Edmonds M. 1993. Interpreting the Axe Trade: production and exchange in Neolithic Britain. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Bradley R., Haselgrove C., Vander Linden M. & Webley L. 2015. The Later Prehistory of North-West Europe: the evidence of development-led fieldwork. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Brophy K. 1999. The cursus monuments of Scotland. In A. Barclay & J. Harding (eds), Pathways and Ceremonies: the cursus monuments of Britain and Ireland, 119129. Oxford: Oxbow Books
Burrow S. 2003. Catalogue of the Mesolithic and Neolithic Collection. Cardiff: National Museum of Wales
Callander J.G. 1911. Notice of the discovery of two vessels of clay on the Culbin Sands. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 45, 158181
Callander J.G. 1929. Scottish Neolithic pottery. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 63, 2998
Callander J.G. 1933. A collection of prehistoric relics from the Stevenston Sands and other objects in the National Museum. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 67, 2634
Callaghan R. & Scarre C. 2009. Simulating the western seaways. Oxford Journal of Archaeology 28, 357372
Carlsson D. 1999. Harbours and farms on Gotland. In N. Blomqvist & S.-O. Lindquist (eds), Europeans or Not? Local Level Strategies on the Baltic Rim 1100–1400 ad , 115124. Visby: Gotland University College
Carver M. 1999. Surviving in Symbols. Edinburgh: Canongate
Clark P. 2002. The Dover Bronze Age Boat. Swindon: English Heritage
Clarke D.V. 2004. The construction of narratives for Neolithic Scotland. In G. Barclay & I. Shepherd (eds), Scotland in Ancient Europe, 4553. Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
Cleal R. & MacSween A. (eds). 1999. Grooved Ware in Britain and Ireland. Oxford: Oxbow Books
Coles D. 2008. Shining Water, Shifting Sand: a study of Neolithic lithic material from two sand dune sites in Northern Britain. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Reading
Coles D. 2011a. Shining water, shifting sand: exotic raw material from Luce Sands, southwest Scotland. In A. Saville (ed.), Flint and Stone in the Neolithic Period, 139152. Oxford: Oxbow Books
Coles D. 2011b. A welter of flint chips: experimental knapping to investigate local flint from Luce Sands, Wigtownshire. Lithics 32, 2228
Coles D., Sheridan J.A. & Begg C. 2011. Excavation and recording of three sites at Knocknab on Torrs Warren, West Freugh. Transactions of the Dumfries & Galloway Natural History & Antiquarian Society 85, 1752
Coles J. 1969. Scottish Early Bronze Age metalwork. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 101, 1110
Coles J. & Taylor J. 1970. The excavation of a midden in the Culbin Sands. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 102, 8799
Collins A.E.P. 1952. Excavations in the sandhills at Dundrum, Co. Down, 1950–51. Ulster Journal of Archaeology 15, 226
Collins A.E.P. 1959. Further investigations in the Dundrum sandhills. Ulster Journal of Archaeology 22, 520
Cormack W. 1968. A burial cairn in Luce Sands, Wigtownshire. Transactions of the Dumfries & Galloway Natural History & Antiquarian Society 45, 240241
Cowie T. 1993. A survey of the Neolithic pottery of eastern and central Scotland. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 123, 1341
Cowie T. 1996. Torrs Warren, Luce Sands, Galloway. Transactions of the Dumfries & Galloway Natural History & Antiquarian Society 71, 11105
Cree J. 1908. Notes on a kitchen midden and superimposed medieval stone floor at Tusculum, North Berwick. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 62, 253294
Cross M. 1938. A prehistoric settlement on Walney Island. Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland Archaeological Society 38, 160163
Cross M. 1939. A prehistoric settlement on Walney Island, Part II. Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland Archaeological Society 39, 262283
Cross M. 1942. A prehistoric settlement on Walney Island, Part III. Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland Archaeological Society 42, 112115
Cross M. 1946. A prehistoric settlement on Walney Island, Part IV. Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland Archaeological Society 46, 6776
Cross M. 1947. A prehistoric settlement on Walney Island, Part V. Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland Archaeological Society 47, 6788
Cross M. 1949. A prehistoric settlement on Walney Island, Part VI. Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland Archaeological Society 49, 19
Cross M. 1950. A prehistoric settlement on Walney Island, Part VII. Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland Archaeological Society 50, 1519
Cummings V. 2002. Between mountain and sea: a reconsideration of the Neolithic monuments of south-west Scotland. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 68, 125146
Cunliffe B. 1987. Hengistbury Head, Dorset, Volume 1. Oxford: Oxford University Committee for Archaeology
Cunliffe B. 1988. Mount Batten, Plymouth: a prehistoric and Roman port. Oxford: Oxford University Committee for Archaeology
Curle J. 1908. Notice of the excavation of a prehistoric kitchen midden on the Archerfield Estate, near Gullane, Haddingham. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 62, 308319
Davidson J.M. 1952. Report of some discoveries at Glenluce Sands, Wigtownshire. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 86, 4369
Davidson-Arnott R. 2010. Introduction to Coastal Processes and Geomorphology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Dening G. 2004. Beach Crossings: voyaging across times, cultures and self. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press
Edmonds M., Evans C. & Gibson D. 1999. Assembly and collection – lithic complexes in the Cambridgeshire Fenland. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 65, 4787
Evans H. 2008. Neolithic and Bronze Age Landscapes of Cumbria. Oxford: British Archaeological Report 463
Fenton M. 1984. The nature of the source and manufacture of Scottish battle-axes and axe-hammers. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 50, 217243
Field D. 2008. Use of Land in Central Southern England during the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age. Oxford: British Archaeological Report 458
Fox A. 1955. Some evidence for a Dark Age trading site at Bantham, near Thurleston, South Devon. Antiquaries Journal 35, 5567
Gardiner J. 1987. Occupation 3500–1000BC . In B. Cunliffe, Hengistbury Head, Dorset, Volume 1, 2554. Oxford: Oxford University Committee for Archaeology
Gardiner J. 2008. On the production of discoidal flint knives and changing patterns of specialist flint procurement on the South Downs, England. Analecta Praehistorica Leidensia 40, 235246
Gardiner M., Cross R., Macpherson-Grant N. & Riddler I. 2001. Continental trade and non-urban ports in mid-Saxon England. Excavations at Sandtun, West Hythe, Kent. Archaeological Journal 158, 161290
Gibson A. 1982. Beaker Domestic Sites. Oxford: British Archaeological Report 107
Gould J.H. 1981. The soils of Culbin Forest, Morayshire. Applied Geography 1, 199212
Griffiths D. 2007. Meols: the archaeology of the North Wirral coast. Oxford: Oxford University Committee for Archaeology
Guard Archaeology. 2015. Discovering the heart of prehistoric Galloway, www.guard-archaeology.co.uk/news14/dunragitNews.html. Accessed June 2015
Haour A. 2013. Outsiders and Strangers: an archaeology of liminality in West Africa. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Hodges R. 1982. Dark Age Economics, 1st edn. London: Duckworth
Ilves K. 2009. Discovering harbours? Reflections on the state and development of landing sites studies in the Baltic Sea region. Journal of Maritime Archaeology 4(2), 149163
James H., Yeoman P. & Bain S. 2008. Excavations at St Ethernan’s Monastery, Isle of May, Fife, 1992–7. Perth: Tayside & Fife Archaeological Committee
Jones A., Lawson-Jones A., Quinnell H. & Tyacke A. 2013. Landscapes of stone: contextualising greenstone working and lithics from Clodgy Moor, West Penwith, Cornwall. Archaeological Journal 170, 229
Lacaille A. 1930. Mesolithic implements from Ayrshire. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 64, 3448
Lacaille A. 1944. Unrecorded microliths from Tentsmuir, Deeside and Culbin. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 78, 516
Lacaille A. 1954. The Stone Age in Scotland. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Lelong O. & MacGregor G. 2007. Lands of Ancient Lothian. Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
Lewarch D. & O’Brien M. 1981. The expanding role of surface assemblages in archaeological research. In M. Schiffer (ed.), Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory 4, 297342. New York: Academic Press
Longworth I., Candow R. & Henderson D. 1967. Further discoveries at Brackmont Mill, Brackmont Farm and Tentsmuir, Fife. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 99, 6092
Loveluck C. 2013. Northwest Europe in the Early Middle Ages, c. ad 600–1000: a comparative archaeology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Loveluck C. & Tys D. 2006. Coastal societies, exchange and identity along the Channel and southern North Sea shores of Europe, ad 600–1000. Journal of Maritime Archaeology 1, 140169
Lynch F., Aldhouse-Green S. & Davies J. 2000. The Prehistory of Wales. Stroud: Sutton
McGrail S. 1993. Prehistoric seafaring in the Channel. In C. Scarre & F. Healy (eds), Trade and Exchange in Prehistoric Europe, 199210. Oxford: Oxbow Books
McInnes I. 1963. The Neolithic and Early Bronze Age pottery from Luce Sands, Wigtownshire. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 97, 4081
Mack J. 2011. The Sea: a cultural history. London: Reaktion Books
May V.J. & Hansom J.D. 2003. Coastal Geomorphology of Great Britain. Peterborough: Joint Nature Conservation Committee
Murray J. 1994. Jade axes from Scotland: a comment on the distribution and supplementary notes. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 60, 97104
National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland. 1892. Catalogue of the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland. Edinburgh: National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland
Needham S. 2004. Migdale–Marnoch: sunburst of Scottish metallurgy. In G. Barclay & I.A.G. Shepherd (eds), Scotland in Ancient Europe, 217245. Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
Needham S. 2009. Encompassing the sea: ‘maritories’ and Bronze Age maritime interactions. In P. Clark (ed.), Bronze Age Connections: culture contact in prehistoric Europe, 1237. Oxford: Oxbow Books
Needham S., Parfitt K. & Varndell G. 2006. The Ringlemere Cup: precious cups and the beginning of the Channel Bronze Age. London: British Museum Press
Noble G. 2007. Monumental journeys: Neolithic monument complexes and routeways across Scotland. In V. Cummings & R. Johnston (eds), Prehistoric Journeys, 6474. Oxford: Oxbow Books
Oestigaard T. & Goldhahn J. 2006. From the dead to the living: death as transactions and re-negotiations. Norwegian Archaeological Review 39, 2748
Paul R. 1905. Notes on Tents Muir and on flint arrow-heads etc. found there. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 39, 345349
Pétrequin P., Cassen S., Gauthier E., Klassen L., Pailler Y. & Sheridan J.A. 2012. Typologie, chronologie et repartition des grandes haches alpines en Europe occidentale. In P. Pétrequin, S. Cassen, M. Errera, L. Klassen, J.A. Sheridan & A.-M. Pétrequin (eds), JADE. Grandes haches alpines du Néolithique européen. Ve et IVe millénaires av. J.-C., 574727. Besançon: Presses Universitaires de Franche-Comté 1224 (Collection Les cahiers de la MSHE Ledoux 17)
Phillips T. 2002. Landscapes of the Living, Landscapes of the Dead. Oxford: British Archaeological Report 328
Richardson J.T. & Richardson J.S. 1902. Prehistoric remains near Gullane. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 36, 654658
Robinson G. 2013. ‘A sea of small boats’: places and practices on the prehistoric seascape of western Britain. Internet Archaeology 34, http://dx.doi.org/10.11141/ia.34.2
Ross S. 1992. The Culbin Sands – Fact and Fiction. Aberdeen: Centre for Scottish Studies, University of Aberdeen
Saville A. 1999. A cache of flint axeheads and other flint artefacts from Auchenhoan, near Campeltown, Kintyre, Scotland. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 65, 83123
Saville A. 2008. Flint extraction and processing from secondary flint deposits in the north-east of Scotland in the Neolithic period. In P. Allard (ed.), Flint Mining in Europe: interpreting the archaeological record, 110. Oxford: British Archaeological Report S1891
Saville A. 2011. Residues at the Neolithic flint extraction site at Den of Boddam, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. In M. Capote, S. Consuagra, P. Díaz-del-Rio & X. Terrada (eds), Proceedings of the Second International Conference of the UISPP Commission on Flint Mining in Pre- and Protohistoric Times, 1928. Oxford: British Archaeological Report S2260
Savory H. 1980. Guide Catalogue of the Bronze Age Collection. Cardiff: National Museum of Wales
Schmidt P. & Burgess C. 1981. The Axes of Scotland and Northern England. Munich: Beck
Scott L. 1951. The colonisation of Scotland in the second millennium bc . Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 17, 1682
Sharples N. 2010. Social Relations in Prehistory: Wessex in the first millennium bc . Oxford: Oxford University Press
Shepherd I. & Shepherd A. 2001. A Cordoned Urn burial with faience from Findhorn. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 131, 101128
Sheridan A. 2010. The Neolithicization of Britain and Ireland: the ‘Big Picture’. In B. Finlayson & G. Warren (eds), Landscapes in Transition, 89105. Oxford: Oxbow Books
Smith J. 1895. Prehistoric Man in Ayrshire. London: Elliot Stock
Steers J.A. 1937. The Culbin Sands and Burghead Bay. Geographical Journal 90, 498523
Sturt F. 2006. Local knowledge is required: a rythmanalytical approach to the late Mesolithic and early Neolithic in the East Anglian Fenland, UK. Journal of Maritime Archaeology 1, 119139
Sturt F., Garrow D. & Bradley S. 2013. New models of North West European Holocene palaeogeography and inundation. Journal of Archaeological Science 40, 39633976
Suddaby I. & Ballin T. 2011. Late Neolithic and Late Bronze Age lithic assemblages associated with a cairn and other prehistoric features at Stoneyhill Farm, Longhaven, Peteread, Aberdeenshire, 2002–03. Scottish Archaeological Internet Reports 45
Thomas J. 2015. A Neolithic Ceremonial Complex in Galloway: excavations at Dunragit and Droughduil, 1999–2002. Oxford: Oxbow Books
Van de Noort R. 2006. Argonauts of the North Sea – a social maritime archaeology for the 2nd millennium bc . Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 72, 267288
Van de Noort R. 2011. North Sea Archaeologies. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Warren A. 2013. Dunes: dynamics, morphology, history. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell
Wilkes E. 2007. Prehistoric sea journeys and port approaches: the south coast and Poole Harbour. In V. Cummings & R. Johnston (eds), Prehistoric Journeys, 121130. Oxford: Oxbow Books
Wilkin N. & Vander Linden M. 2015. What was and what never would be: changing patterns of interaction and archaeological visibility across north-west Europe from 2500 to 1500calBC . In H. Anderson-Whymark, D. Garrow & F. Sturt (eds), Continental Connections, 99121. Oxford: Oxbow Books
Wilson G. 1876. Notes on the collection of stone implements and other antiquities from Glenluce, Wigtownshire now presented to the Museum. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 11, 580587
Wilson G. 1881. Notes on a collection of implements and ornaments of stone, bronze etc. from Glenluce, Wigtownshire. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 15, 262276
Wilson G. 1888. Additional notes on funereal urns from Glenluce, Wigtownshire. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 22, 6670
Wilson P. & McGourty J. 2002. Bann estuary dunes. In J. Knight (ed.), Field Guide to the Coastal Environments of Northern Ireland, 146151. Coleraine: J. Knight
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society
  • ISSN: 0079-497X
  • EISSN: 2050-2729
  • URL: /core/journals/proceedings-of-the-prehistoric-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 3
Total number of PDF views: 111 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 315 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 22nd November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.