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Archaeology

Polished stone axes were the oldest archaeological objects found in the West Highland region, and date from the Neolithic period (around 2000BCE). The use of metal axes became widespread soon afterwards, and the museum has examples of these, as well as the heads of the earlier stone axes.

Our collection includes ancient pottery and metalwork, arrowheads and stonework, salvage from the wreck of a Spanish Galleon, and clothing and artefacts from a 1500-year old crannog site. (A crannog was a type of circular loch-dwelling on wooden stilts). Choose an image for further details.

The Bronze Age

About 2000 BCE new groups arrived in Britain bringing a distinctive style of beautifully decorated pottery and knowledge of metal working. On the west coast of Scotland they seem to have first settled around the Crinan area of Argyll, where copper was locally available and gold was easily obtainable from Ireland.

"The earliest Bronze Age inhabitants were the Beaker people, so called because of the beakers they buried with their dead."

Hanging bowl

They were workers of copper and gold. Copper was too soft to be practical for making tools so stone knapping continued. Barbed and tanged arrowheads (which can be seen at the museum) are associated with the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age.

The bowl pictured is a pictish bronze hanging bowl, found at Castle Tioram, about 40 miles from Fort William.