SAIR 11:The worked quartz vein at Cnoc Dubh, Uig parish, Isles of Lewis, Western Isles: presentation and discussion of a small prehistoric quarry
by Torben Bjarke Ballin
with illustrations by the author
Published in July 2004 by The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, in association with The Council for British Archaeology and Historic Scotland, in Adobe Acrobat format. Available free of charge (see Terms & Conditions of Use).
In 2002, an examination was carried out of a small quartz vein at the knoll of Cnoc Dubh, a few hundred metres from the southern shores of Loch Ceann Hulabhig on the Isle of Lewis (NGR NB 2318 2998). The vein proved to have been worked in prehistoric time, defining it as a quarry, and it was measured, photographed and characterized. In the present paper, the Cnoc Dubh quartz quarry is presented in detail, to allow comparison with other lithic quarries, and it is attempted to define attributes diagnostic of prehistoric exploitation, and to schematically describe the 'mining operations' by which the quartz was procured. As part of this process,quartz quarrying is compared to the procurement of other lithic and stone raw materials, mainly drawing on research from Scandinavia, Australia and the USA, and the location of quartz quarries in relation to prehistoric settlements is discussed. The average distance between quartz sources and Neolithic - Bronze Age sites on Lewis is then used to discuss ownership of, and access to, prehistoric quartz sources, as well as the possible exchange of quartz.
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|Table of Contents|
|1||List of Illustrations|
|List of Tables|
|2||Introduction||Torben Bjarke Ballin|
|3||Location||Torben Bjarke Ballin|
|4||The quartz vein||Torben Bjarke Ballin|
|5||Evidence of exploitation||Torben Bjarke Ballin|
|5.2 Attributes associated with the reduction of the vein|
|6||Extraction techniques||Torben Bjarke Ballin|
|7||Discussion||Torben Bjarke Ballin|
|7.1 The date of the Cnoc Dubh quarry|
|7.2 Quarrying of quartz compared to the quarrying of other lithic raw materials|
|7.3 Quartz sources and settlements|
|7.4 Ownership of / access to quartz sources, and quartz exchange|
|8||The Cnoc Dubh quarry and future comparative work||Torben Bjarke Ballin|
Published by The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, in association with The Council for British Archaeology and Historic Scotland, in Adobe Acrobat format. Available free of charge (see Terms & Conditions of Use).
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