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found in almost every island, and new discoveries were continually occurring. They frequently appeared as green tumuli of various sizes, and sometimes were unexpectedly met with beneath the surface and without any external indication of their existence. The anteNorwegian antiquities of Orkney might be classified as-1st, Dwellings and other Buildings of Primitive Architecture; 2nd, the so-called Picts’-houses or Pights’-houses; 3rd, Barrows or gravemounds and ancient graves unconnected with barrows; 4th, Miscellaneous antiquities, such as standing stones and cromlechs. The paper gave a general description of the first two of these classes. The dwellings were subterranean chambers or cells, and brochs or circular towers; while the character of the so-called Pict's-houses the author believed to be sepulchral, and if so they might probably belong to the same race who erected the brochs, and it might be the standing stones also. The author exhibited various ground plans and sections of the ancient buildings, and concluded with a hope that future researches would throw more light on so interesting a subject.
On the Recent Discovery of Lacustrian Human Habitations in Wigtonshire. By Lord LOVAINE. Dowalton Loch, in which the structures about to be described were discovered, is a sheet of water of very irregular form, about two miles long and half a mile broad, situated in Wigtonshire, on the west coast of Scotland, at the end of a narrow valley five miles in extent, the whole of which is occupied by a moss, part of whose waters flow into the loch, and the remainder into the sea near Monreith; the elevation of the water-shed near the middle of the valley being almost imperceptible. Sir William Marwell, of Monreith, has effected the drainage of this loch at his own heavy expense, to the great benefit of his neighbours as well as himself, by a cutting at its southern extremity of no less than twenty-five feet deep, for a considerable distance through the wall of whinstone and slate that closes the valley. The water having been partially drawn off, the bed of the loch exhibits the appearance of an immense sheet of mud, surrounded by beaches of different elevations, covered with large rolled stones and angular blocks of slate. It contains a few small islets, composed apparently of the same materials as the beaches. Sir W. Maxwell, having heard that a bronze vessel had been found in the mud near the southern shore, succeeded in obtain. ing it, but could not trace other articles of the same description reported to have been found near it. On visiting the spot, 19th August, 1863, to obtain further information, I observed some timbers standing on an island near the centre of the loch, and was told that some one had been there in a boat when it first appeared above water, and had found bones, a small granite quern, and piles, and a spot was pointed out to me at the extremity of one of the little promontories where similar piles were observable, which, on inspection, I found to be true. These piles varied from a foot to eighteen inches in circumference. Sir W. Maxwell's bailiff, Mr. Chalmers, who displayed great zeal and intelligence throughout these researches, having proceeded to the spot to secure labourers for the next day's search, reported that, though it was not possible to reach the larger island, a smaller one was accessible, and that a canoe lay near it. On reaching the island over about forty yards of mud, I found it nearly circular, about thirty-eight yards in circumference, and thirteen in diameter. It was elevated about five feet and a half above the mud, and on each side of it were two patches of stone, nearly touching it. On the north side of it lay a canoe of oak, between the two patches, and surrounded by piles, the heads just appearing above the surface of the mud; it was twenty-four feet long, four feet two inches broad in the middle, and seven inches deep, the thickness of the bottom being two inches. On removing the stones which covered the surface, several teeth, apparently of swine and oxen, were found; and I proceeded to cut a trench round the islet, and upon coming to the southern end, a small quantity of ashes were turned up, in which were teeth and burnt bones, a piece of a fine earthenware armlet of a yellow colour, and a large broken earthenware bead, striped blue and white, together with a small metal ornament, apparently gilt; two other pieces of an armlet of the same material, one striped with blue and white, were also found on the surface. On cutting deeper into the structure (the foregoing objects having been found on the outside about two feet from the top), it proved to be wholly artificial, resting on the soft bottom of the loch: the uppermost layer was a mass of brushwood about two feet thick; beneath it large branches and stems of small trees, mostly hazel and birch, mingled with large stones, evidently added to compress the mass; below that were layers of heather and brushwood, intermingled with stones and soil, the whole resting upon a bed of fern about a foot thick, which appeared in all the structures examined to form the foundation. The whole mass was pinned together by piles and stakes of oak and willow, some of them driven two feet and a half into the bottom of the loch, similar to those above mentioned. The islet was surrounded by an immense number of these, extending to a distance of twenty yards around it; and the masses of stone, which were apparently meant to act as breakwaters, were laid amongst them. The one next examined stood about sixty yards off, at the extremity of a rocky projection into the loch, but separated from it by the now hardened mud. It was smaller, and the layers were not so distinctly marked, and some of the timbers inserted in it under the first layer of brushwood were larger, and either split or cut to a face. A stake with two holes bored in it about the size of a finger, a thin piece of wood in which mortices had been cut, and a sort of box, the interior of which was about six inches cube, with a ledge to receive the cover, very rudely cut out of wood, were found. I succeeded two days afterwards in reaching the largest islet in a boat. It appeared by measurement to be three feet below the level of the other islets ; but it was much larger, and several depressions on its surface showed that it had sunk. Wherever the soil was not covered with stones and silt, teeth were scattered all over it. We found quantities of bones at different depths in the mass, but always below the upper layer of faggots, and towards the outside. The progress of the excavation was very soon stopped by the oozing in of the water; but a workman, plunging his arm up to the shoulder into the soft material, brought up handfuls of the fern layer, mingled with sticks and hazel nuts, and large bones, believed to be those of oxen. Near the spot lumps of sand and stone fused together were picked up. On the south side of the island extraordinary pains had been taken to secure the structure; heavy slabs of oak, five feet long, two feet wide, and two inches thick, were laid one upon another in a sloping direction, bolted together by stakes inserted in mortices eight inches by ten inches in size, and connected by squared pieces of timber three feet eight inches in length. It extended to the length of twenty-three yards, and its base, about five yards beyond the surface of the mud, was formed of stems of trees laid horizontally, and secured by stakes. In other respects the formation resembled that of the other islet, but it was far larger, measuring one hundred yards round by about thirtysix yards across. No building of any sort was discovered, but a large plank of oak, twelve feet long, fourteen inches broad, and seven inches thick, lay covered with stones on the north side. The sinking of the mud had by this time laid bare a second canoe between the islet first examined and the shore; it was eighteen feet and a half long, two feet seven inches wide, and barely two inches deep: a block of wood, cut to fit a hole left probably by a rotten branch, was inserted in the side, two feet long, seven inches wide, and five and a half inches thick, and had there been secured by pegs driven through the side; across
the stern was cut a deep groove to admit a backboard. A hole two inches in diameter was bored at about one-third of the length of both canoes in the bottom. This was so rotten that it would not bear my weight without breaking. The next day, being unable to reach the last mentioned island, I found upon the spot which had been indicated to me on my first inquiry no less than six structures, similar to those before described, in a semicircle. They were, however, much smaller, apparently single dwellings. Though upon some of them charred wood was found, nothing else was discovered except a morticed piece of timber, which might have drifted there; and in one, inserted under the upper layer of brushwood, a large oak timber, measuring eight feet long by three feet in circumference. Throughout these investigations no tool or weapon of any sort has come to light. In the layers the leaves and nuts were perfectly fresh and distinct, and the bark was as plainly distinguishable on the stems and timber as on the day they were laid down, as were also the heather and the fern. It is difficult to conjecture the state of the loch when these edifices were formed, and whether or not they were completed at one period. The finding of the large stones in the layer of ferns might lead to the belief that they were gradually raised as the waters of the loch increased, and the necessity of strengthening them by breakwaters would seem to prove that the loch must have risen considerably before they were abandoned. No other sort of building has been discovered on them; but the great number of teeth scattered over the surface of the larger island, and even on the mud surrounding, and the immense expenditure of labour indicated in the shaping and hewing of the large timber with tools, which must have been from the work produced of the rudest description, betoken apparently a considerable population. The loch must have remained for a considerable period at each of the different levels before mentioned; at one time six or seven feet above its last level (that is, before its drainage was effected), to which it was reduced by three cuts made to feed neighbouring mills, one certainly of great antiquity. At three feet and a half below the ordinary level there are unmistakable appearances of a former beach, with which the top of the first mentioned islet almost exactly coincides. It is remarkable that, though there are many rocky eminences in the bed of the loch, none bear token of ever having been used for the erection of these dwellings, which seem to have invariably been based upon the soft bottom of the loch, where the intervening mud and water may have afforded the inhabitants a greater security from attacks from the shore. I had not time to examine fully the shores of the loch, but I was assured by Mr. Chalmers that he had examined them carefully without finding traces of other structures. On a hill to the south there are remains of a Danish fort (i, e, a circular entrenchment); and the very ancient ruin called Long Castle is on an adjacent promontory on the north side.
Since writing the above, a very old man in Sir William Maxwell's service told me that in clearing out a channel between a small wooded island in Myston Loch, close to Monreith House, and the beach, he remembers there being found layers of timbers, piles, and flat stones laid in circles. I have also obtained from a farmer living near Ravenstone Moss a paddle of black oak, three feet long, fourteen inches broad, and one inch thick, which with four or five others he had found in that moss, lying close to a mass of timbers about six feet from the surface; this I have every reason to believe formed part of a structure similar to those described. I should have mentioned that, though retaining its shape, the timber is for the most part completely decayed, except where it has been protected from the action of the mud.
Dowalton Loch lies one mile to the left of the highroad, half-way between Wigton and Port William. The name of the loch is probably derived from the MacDowals, formerly lords of this part of the country, and possibly of Irish origin, constant communications with the north of Ireland having taken place from the earliest period. Sir William Maxwell suggests as an easy explanation of the different levels found in the loch, that the waters originally discharged themselves into the sea from the western end of the valley, a portion of them only now finding an exit that way, in consequence of the formation of the moss towards the centre of the valley, which compelled the remainder to flow into the loch. In this case the structures must be supposed to be formed in the early stages of the growth of the moss, whilst the loch was so shallow as to make it easy to raise the moss above its waters, and yet deep enough to float canoes, and afford the desired security from an enemy,
Professor Wilson said that a good deal of attention had been paid to this subject by Scottish antiquarians; and Mr. Joseph Robinson of Edinburgh had collected a great deal of important information, showing that a large number of lacustrian structures existed in that part of Great Britain. In a communication from Kincardineshire, addressed to the Earl of Buchan during the time he was president of the Society of Antiquaries, there was a description of a lake in which there were lacustrian habitations. There was also a description of numerous bodies of animals, and of various bone ornaments. Two of