Neolithic People Were Really Smart

“Scottish Crannogs Dated to Neolithic Period” in Archaeology

“Diver’s 5,500-year-old Discovery Hauls History of Scottish Crannogs Into Question” in Ancient Origins (By the way, see what they did there? The discovery was hauled up out of the water, and it hauls the history into question …?)

What is a crannog and would you like to live on one?

Turns out a crannog is a small artificial island made by piling rocks in a loch (that’s lake to you non-Scots), on which people lived.

These things are really widespread. Check out the map in the Ancient Origins article that shows their locations all around Scotland and the outer Hebrides. And apparently they exist in Ireland too.

According to the two articles above, crannogs once were thought to date to the Iron Age or even to medieval times. Now a few of them have been dated to the Neolithic era. I am a dating skeptic, but given what we suspect about the brilliant engineering capabilities of ancient man, the Neolithic idea sounds as plausible as any.

And if they are indeed Neolithic, the crannogs were probably built by pre-Celtic people. If we follow Arthur C. Custance, it’s likely the builders were Hamite. Imagine the engineering ability that it would take to create a livable artificial island that is still around thousands of years later.

I can’t imagine what would make people think they needed to live on these tiny, inconvenient islands, but it can’t have been good.

13 thoughts on “Neolithic People Were Really Smart

  1. BlackSheep

    They were so smart they built entire islands to get away from their wives! Just kidding, but I will laugh if it turns out that is what they were actually used for.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha ha!

      And also, ouch!

      I never thought of it, but you’re right that crannogs could have housed same-sex communities similar to monastaries or convents. Or they could have been built as a place for the women and children to withdraw to in the face of some sort of danger.

      I feel a short story coming on.


          1. BlackSheep

            Who knows? When I was a kid we built forts by piling up rocks. In a time before TV and the Internet, people may have done these things just to see if it was possible. Maybe it had a defensive purpose. But yeah, man caves seems most probable.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. ahester1

    Well, I had never heard of a crannog! I learn something new every day. My first thought was that there is more than one way to obtain a moat. Definitely scary wondering what could have driven those people to labor creating these islands to surround themselves with water. But who knows? Maybe it was for religious reasons, or just relational (like another commenter suggested, a “man-cave”. That made me laugh!).


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