7.4.4 Brochs

Brochs in the strict definition if the term espoused by Mackie (e.g. 2007) are relatively rare in Argyll and absent from the mainland. The excavated example of Dun Mor Vaul (NMRS No. NM04NW 3) on Tiree has resulted in much discussion as to its dating and pottery sequence (MacKie 1997), which has informed the debate on the pottery from other sites. It is now perhaps generally accepted that the radiocarbon dates from the broch are too problematic to support the excavators contention that it was constructed in the middle of the 1st century BC (Harding 1997). Occupation appears to have continued until the middle of the 3rd century AD. The site however has an earlier Iron Age phase dating perhaps as early as the 5th century BC (Mackie; 1963b, 1974, 1997).

Decorated Hebridean pottery has also been recovered from Dun Mor A’ Chaolais (NMRS No. NM04NE 1), Dun Boraige Mor (NMRS No. NL94NW 1) and Dun Nighean (NMRS No. NL94SE 1) all on Tiree, ceramics from the latter two studied by Piggott (Beveridge 1903; Piggot 1952). More recently work has also been undertaken at Tirefour broch (NMRS No. NM84SE 1) on Lismore with the results awaiting publication (Stoddart; 2007, 2008).