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15 August 2009
Bronze Age boat recreated at Scottish loch

A team of history and woodwork experts have teamed up to build a replica Bronze Age logboat at Loch Tay (Perthshire, Scotland). The group will work with the tools and techniques that were used about 3,000 years ago. They will make the boat from a single Douglas Fir trunk, measuring about 10m in length.
     The project was inspired by the discovery of a logboat in the loch dating back to 1500 BCE and another one in the River Tay dating to 1000 BCE. The Loch Tay logboat was discovered in 1994, but it was only when it was dated three years ago that it was revealed how old it really was. The River Tay logboat was found in 2001 at Carpow, near Newburgh in Fife, and was fully excavated and recovered in 2006. The modern day team will spend the next three weeks recreating such crafts at Dalerb. They hope to learn more about how prehistoric communities made such vessels.
     Woodworking specialist Damian Goodburn said: "We've had some tools specially made, which are replicas of late Bronze Age tools, but we're also using a mixture of modern and Bronze Age tools really to give people a feel of progress in woodwork technology."
     Nick Dixon, from the Scottish Crannog Centre, said the boats were essential in the days before roads around the loch. "We are looking at logboats that are over 10 metres long - this is not just a couple of people paddling up and down the loch, we are talking about major cargo carrying or major people-carrying boats," he said. "The people who owned them would've been very important, basically your stagecoach owner of the day, and it would've transported people in this loch 14 miles up and down the loch. For hunting, you'd be able to carry back animals, you'd be able to talk to other people in the loch, because there are 18 crannogs in this loch. So they're incredibly important as transport and for trade."

Source: BBC News (11 August 2009)

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