Small-scale changes in tidal regimes have preserved marine crannogs. These sites, often located by aerial survey, present a set of research questions unique to the intertidal zone, ©RCAHMS.

Marine crannogs: are a site type that can provide extensive archaeological and palaeo-environmental data caches for researchers (Hale 2004). They are indicative of how the estuarine environment was previously exploited and can be used for localised sea-level/estuarine system studies. Their positions within the intertidal zone ensure that they are under threat from erosive agencies and their relative paucity (only 9 are known) is indicative of a very limited resource for researchers. Marine crannogs can be used to identify local sea-level change, periods of inundation, habitation sites that were positioned very specifically to take advantage of local dry points that gave access to both estuarine/riverine channels and to the terrestrial hinterland. The preservation on such sites is akin to freshwater wetland remains and provides a vital source of palaeo-environmental data that researches can use to reconstruct their form, function and landscape setting and changes. This indicates that they are an asset of national importance and should be appropriately researched (Hale & Sands 2005).

Standing buildings located on the shoreline: Scotland’s coastline have been undertaken for many years and there are a number of sources for information. RCAHMS’ Canmore database can be searched for standing buildings located on the shoreline, although researchers will require further refinements to their searches, in order that they can isolate the individual buildings. Buildings such as the grain stores or girnals that surround the Cromarty Firth have been looked at specifically with their coastal location in mind (Alston 1999) and this is also true of fishermen’s cottages, and planned settlements such as Cromarty or Ullapool (Alston 1999; Maudlin 2000). However, other buildings, which may appear incidental to their coastal situation, can often be traced to a maritime source. Many buildings indeed, even far inland, were financed by profits from trade or other maritime activities, including naval prize money and smuggling.

Leave a Reply