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The Iron Age

Logboats & Canoes

Canoe, Catherinefield Farm, Locharbriggs

Period:
Iron Age
Description:

Found on the edge of the Lochar Water, this wooden dugout canoe is squared at one end while tapering at the other. It is believed to be the stern section of the boat, with the remainder of the boat presumably still in situ. Afer conservation work, the canoe was donated to Dumfries Museum.


The earliest log boats can be dated to the Stone Age period when people lived by hunting and gathering. The boats were used for wildfowling and fishing along river banks and may have been steered and propelled by poles. Most boats were made of oak which splits along its grain easily, the remaining shaping being carried out with polished stone axes and flints. The log boat from Catherinefield is the earliest securely dated log boat in Scotland, it has survived from the early Bronze Age, over 4,000 years ago. The others were probably made over 2,000 years ago when many local people lived in crannogs or lake dwellings.

Materials/Media:
Oak tree
Source:
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
DUMFM:1974.182
Digital Number:
RPD0371
RCAHMS site record:
Catherinefield logboat
References:
Cowie and Shepherd, T G and I A G (2003) 'The Bronze Age', in Edwards, K J and Ralston, I B M Scotland after the Ice Age: environment, archaeology and history 8000BC - AD 1000 Edinburgh Page(s): 155

Jardine and Masters, W G and L J (1977) 'A dug-out canoe from Catherinefield Farm, Locharbriggs, Dumfriesshire', Trans Dumfriesshire Galloway Natur Hist Antiq Soc, 3rd, vol.52 Page(s): 56-65

McGrail, S (1978) Logboats of England and Wales with comparative material from European and other countries, Brit Archaeol Rep, BAR British, vol.51 National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, Archaeological Series, 2 Oxford Page(s): 86