5.6.5 Organic crafts

A photograph of the sole of a shoe with metal tacks forming a decorative pattern

Roman leather shoe with ornately-nailed sole, Newstead ©NMS

These by their very nature leave less evidence; although Newstead in particular has furnished evidence for a wide range, including textiles, basketry, leather and bone-working (Curle 1911). To understand this material requires a broad perspective beyond Scotland, as the evidence is otherwise too scarce. Study to date of leather indicates repair and remodelling rather than tanning, or any significant production of items such as shoes (van Driel-Murray in prep); there is rather more evidence of bone and antler-working, but this has never been synthesised.

Researched synthesis of evidence for organic crafts, especially of bone-working, is required.

Any assemblage with good organic preservation should be a priority for study.

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