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Online Talks: Current Student Research 1)The archaeology of whisky smuggling2) Palaeoecological investigation of native woodlands 3) A palaeoecological investigation into human-environmental interactions in Gairloch, Wester Ross ...

08 October 2020

Starts: 19:30

Current Student Research

1) The archaeology of whisky smuggling: searching for things that weren’t meant to be found!- Darroch Bratt (UHI)

Darroch will discuss the various types of archaeology related to whisky smuggling as well as the way trade, legislation, economics and community impacted and changed the archaeological footprint of what became a pillar of the Scottish economy.

2) 'Seeing the woods for the trees: a palaeoecological investigation of native woodlands to inform present and future woodland conservation management strategies in Northern Scotland' - Jasmijn Sybenga (UHI PhD student) -

This research investigates three areas of peatland in northern Scotland under the care of Forestry and Land Scotland; two sites in Caithness and one site in Sutherland. Palaeoecological research of these areas using pollen, non-pollen palynomorphs and microscopic charcoal has been undertaken in order to identify the native woodland that was once present in these areas. The investigation focusses on identifying the types of woodland previously present against today’s woodland survey of Scotland, causes for the demise of these woodlands and evidence of past woodland disturbances, such as those caused by people and climate. The results of the work are modelled against future predicted climate change in order to identify what native woodland and/or tree types offer the best chance for establishment through re-afforestation of these areas in the future.

3) ‘Out of the Round: a palaeoecological investigation into human-environmental interactions of hit circle communities in Gairloch, Wester Ross’ - Hannah-Genders Boyd (MRes student)

This project is running in conjunction with the WeDigs group in investigating the Bronze and Iron Age communities who occupied the many hut-circle (roundhouse) sites in the area around Gairloch, Wester Ross. Charcoal of birch and alder submitted by WeDIgs from three hut circles at Gairloch have returned radiocarbon dates that suggest these structures were active during the Middle Bronze Age to the Middle Iron Age with dates returned between 1736-1528 cal BC (SUERC-53880) and 376-197 cal BC (SUERC-47075). Palaeoecological analysis using pollen, non-pollen palynomorphs, microscopic charcoal and geochemistry is being undertaken to investigate the interactions between local communities in this area and their environment. This research will focus on looking for evidence of economy such as pastoral and arable farming and whether any shifts in these can be detected, together with evidence for metalworking from elevated charcoal and heavy metals input into the peat bog the core was taken from. The project will also be looking at how these communities adapted to changing climate during this time and whether occupation of this area occurred in relatively short bursts of time or over a longer duration.

Part of Highland Archaeology Festival of Talks. Book via EventBrite website. Further details on Highland Archaeology Festival website.

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Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands (ARCH), The Goods Shed, The Old Station, Strathpeffer, Ross-Shire, Scotland IV14 9DH
Tel: +44 (0)77888 35466 Email: