Excavations at a multi-period site at Greenbogs, Aberdeenshire, Scotland and the four-post timber architecture tradition of Late Neolithic Britain and Ireland

Gordon Noble, Moira Greig, Kirsty Millican, Sue Anderson, Ann Clarke, Melanie Johnson, Dawn McLaren, Alison Sheridan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This report outlines the unexpected discovery of a group of Late Neolithic structures at Greenbogs, Monymuskin Aberdeenshire, along with a series of later prehistoric features in the mid-1990s. Recent radiocarbon dating shows that two four-post timber structures found here date to the period 2890–2490 cal BC. These were found in association with a range of other features including an oval structure and diffuse areas of burning. The closest parallels for the four-post structures can be found in a slowly growing body of Late Neolithic timber structures, some being interpreted as roofed dwellings and others as roofed or unroofed monuments. This article places the Greenbogs structures in their wider context, identifies a number of unexcavated parallels in the aerial record and addresses the nature of the four-post structures found across Late Neolithic Britain and Ireland and suggests that four-post structures were a more common element of Late Neolithic architecture than previously identified. A common building type appears to have been shared across large areas of Britain and Ireland in a variety of contexts, from the seemingly mundane to the more ‘charged’, as part of elaborate monument complexes. The later prehistoric features identified at Greenbogs include a concentration of Middle Bronze Age features including graves containing cremated human bones, one with an upright urn, and a number of Iron Age pits and other features.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135–171
Number of pages37
JournalProceedings of the Prehistoric Society
Volume78
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012

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