Page last updated at 10:33 GMT, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 11:33 UK

Bronze age boat recreated at loch

Log arriving for carving, photo by Barrie Andrian, Scottish Crannog Centre.
A huge Douglas Fir has been delivered to Loch Tay. Photo by Barrie Andrian.

A team of history and woodwork experts have teamed up to build a replica Bronze Age logboat at Loch Tay.

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 BC and another one in the River Tay dating to 1000 BC.

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.

We are talking about major cargo carrying or major people carrying boats
Nick Dixon
Scottish Crannog Centre

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."

He added that using modern tools would also ensure that the work was completed in time for the launch on 31 August.

"It's going to be hard work, both with the modern tools and the bronze tools, he said. "We're going to need to take breaks and use local archaeological sites like the crannog centre across the way so the inspiration keeps flowing.

The logboat at Carpow
In 2001, a Bronze Age boat was discovered at Carpow, on the Tay

"But one of the things people will learn is a lot of the skills the dug-out boat builders needed and how to make the tools, how to make the strange-shaped handles for them, and so on, and we hope to pass that onto visiting members of the public as well."

Nick Dixon, from the Scottish Crannog Centre, told BBC Scotland 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."



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