The Economy of a Norse Settlement in the Outer Hebrides (Hardback)
Excavations at Mounds 2 and 2A Bornais, South Uist
This book explores the economic evidence for the settlement at Bornais on South Uist. It reports in detail on the large assemblages of material found during the excavations at mounds 2 and 2A. There is important evidence for craft activity, such as bone and antler working and this includes the only comb making workshop from a rural settlement in Britain. A large proportion of the copper alloy, bone and antler assemblages comprise pieces of personal adornment and provide important information on the dress and thereby social relations within the settlement occupation. There is a large assemblage of iron tools and fittings, which provides important information on the activities taking place at the settlement. The information derived from the artefact assemblages is complemented by that provided by the ecofactual material. Large amounts of animal, fish and bird bones plus carbonised plant remains provide detailed information on agricultural practices, and the processing, preparation and consumption of foodstuffs. It is clear that the Norse inhabitants of the settlement had access to a much richer variety of resources than had been exploited before the Viking colonisation of the region. The settlement also had a significantly wider range of connections; material culture indicates contacts to the south with the Irish Sea ports and Bristol, and to the north with Shetland and the Viking homelands of Norway. The evidence produced by these excavations is exceptional and provides an unparalleled opportunity to explore medieval life in the Scandinavian kingdoms of Western Britain.