The site of a long-running archaeological controversy, Dumbuck Crannog lies on the shores of the Firth of Clyde in the Dumbarton area of Scotland. One of four crannogs in the inner Firth of Clyde, Dumbuck is exposed only at low tide, and the visible remains constitute a circular wooden platform within a ring of upright posts. This well illustrated book looks back at the excavations themselves (1898-99), and the ensuing controversy - which simmered for over 30 years - by digging into the Dumbuck archive. William Donnelly, an archaeological enthusiast and well-known artist, first discovered the site in July 1898. He became central to the excavations and the archive contains many drawings and watercolours by him; of excavations, visitors, reconstructions, and most importantly the small finds. The controversy began in earnest when the archaeologist John Munro questioned the authenticity of these small finds - proposing that they were in fact of 19th century origin. A very public debate began, recorded in this book by way of acerbic quotes from letters, newspapers, and articles. The debate raged for over 30 years, and its legacy is enduring. While this book does not solve the mystery of the forgeries, it examines the excavations and the subsequent controversy, and includes loads of Donnelly's original drawings and paintings, along with photographs of the original excavations and extracts from the letters and articles which formed the basis of one of the most vitriolic controversies in Scottish archaeology.
Author: Alex G. C. Hale, and Rob Sands
Publisher: Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland
Publication date: 2005