Objects from Loch Kinord

The University of Aberdeen’s Museum Collection holds eleven artefacts that have come from in or around Loch Kinord, Aberdeenshire. I have had a fantastic opportunity to work with these objects over the past few weeks, and I will be modelling them in 3D using photogrammetry. I am still working on the 3D models, but hope to have some of them finished soon. In the mean time, here are some of the artefacts.

Logboat Fragment

This piece of wood is a fragment of what was a 9m long logboat. The logboat was discovered in Loch Kinord during a drought and was brought out of the water and was taken to the nearby Aboyne Castle. There it fell apart, and this small piece is all that remains. I am hoping to radiocarbon date this small artefact, and there is no telling from what period it dates. The collection reference number is ABDUA:36839.

Bronze Spearhead

One of the more amazing objects that the University of Aberdeen’s Museum Collection holds is this bronze spear head. The spearhead has broken into three parts, and part of its oak shaft still survives. The date of this object is also somewhat uncertain, but is likely to be Bronze Age. Collection reference number ABDUA:19672.

Bronze Pins

From very near to Loch Kinord, these bronze pins were discovered. They are in a Hiberno Norse style and  probably date to the 9th century AD. Their presence at Loch Kinord might indicate wider trade connections between people living there and Ireland or Scandinavia. Collection reference number ABDUA:15550 and ABDUA:15551.

Wooden Paddle

Finally, there is this carved wooden paddle. This paddle has already been radiocarbon dated to the 11th  or possibly 12th century AD. The paddle is a reminder of the restricted access of living on an insular island dwelling, such as those at Loch Kinord. In order to access the island, not only do you need a water craft, but also the other accoutrements – paddles, oars or poles. Collection reference ABDUA:16817.

Very soon I hope to have these objects, and the others, fully modelled. I also have plans to return to Loch Kinord to do some more survey work that will hopefully add further contextual information about the amazing archaeological landscape from which these objects came.



Firstly, let me apologise for not updating this blog more regularly. When I began it about a year ago, I had envisioned that I would be much more active, writing a new post every few weeks. That clearly didn’t happen. I am hoping to do better in 2015, hopefully with a lot of exciting things to report.

With that said, the second half of 2014 did see some important developments for the PhD project. Notably, more analysis was undertaken of the Roy Map and further discoveries of drained lochs and forgotten crannogs. There was some fieldwork undertaken, including a quick survey of an intriguing feature at Loch Kinord. I also attended the 5th International Congress of Underwater Archaeology held in Cartagena, Spain in October. I presented some of my work there and it was very well received. All of the talks I attended were interesting, and it is clear that the field of underwater archaeology is expanding and developing in all sorts or new and exciting directions.

Very recently, I heard news that I will be able to do some photographic analysis of artefacts found in and around Loch Kinord that are held within the University of Aberdeen’s Museum Collections. The artefacts that I will be examining are a range of incredible finds, discovered mostly in the 19th century. They include, among others, a carved wooden paddle radiocarbon dated to the 11th-12th century AD, a carved stone ball, and 2nd-3rd century AD Roman glass bottle that was ‘fished’ out of the loch. This bottle will be on display at the University of Aberdeen’s King’s Museum from 20 January in the Crafting Kingdoms: The rise of the Northern Picts exhibition. I will be sure to provide some updates on this work very soon.