Page last updated at 01:46 GMT, Monday, 18 January 2010

Planks may be lost boat's cargo

Two of the five oak planks
Two of the five planks found near Acharacle Primary

Oak planks found near a school may be from the cargo of a 14th Century log boat discovered nearby but later lost.

Workers digging a drainage ditch at Acharacle Primary School on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula uncovered the five pieces of wood last year.

Archaeologists suggested they might be the boat's cargo, or a cache of timber kept in a peat bog to stop them drying out before being worked on later.

The boat was thought to have been found between 1895 and 1905.

Such craft were used to guide rafts of felled oak through Loch Shiel onto the River Shiel for shipment to other parts of Scotland.

An arrowhead

According to a church minister at the time of the Acharacle log boat discovery, it was taken away to a museum. It remains missing today.

AOC Archaeology Group investigated the planks find before submitting a report to Highland Council.

The document has been upload onto the local authority's Highland Historic Environment Record (HER).

Archaeologist Anne Crone, of AOC, said the planks gave a glimpse into the exploitation of forests on the west coast.

She said wood from Ardnamurchan was used in the construction of buildings, including those commissioned by royalty.

As well as the Acharacle planks, five oak logs were also found near Claish Moss also in Ardnamurchan.

One of the logs was believed to have been from a tree felled, or that died, between 1325 and 1361.

Other archaeological sites added to the HER's online database include Loch Croispol in Sutherland where an arrowhead was found.

It was thought to date from the Neolithic to early Bronze Age.

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