Sunken Treasures: Making Sense of Hebridean Neolithic Pottery


The recent discovery across the Outer Hebrides of a series of artificial islets whose origins date to the 4th millennium BC has fascinated and intrigued archaeologists. Of particular interest are the large assemblages of well-made and elaborately decorated pottery recovered from the loch beds around the islets as well as on some of the islets themselves. Lying undisturbed beneath the peaty waters for over 5000 years, sherds from shallow so-called ‘Unstan bowls’, that are also found in Orkney, intermingle with vessels that more closely resemble pots from Argyle and Ireland, as well as with deep, baggy jars unique to the Western Isles. Elsewhere in the Hebrides, similar vessels have been found in settlements and tombs. Shortly after 3000 BC, both the Early Neolithic Hebridean ceramic tradition and the construction of loch islets came to a sudden end.

How, then can we make sense of the rich ceramic traditions of the Western Isles? What can the pots tell us about the origins and development of Neolithic society on the islands? And what was the significance of the deposition of large quantities of pottery in the murky waters of the Hebridean lochs? In this talk, Dr Mike Copper of the University of Bradford will attempt to cast some light on these, and other, fascinating questions.

To book contact: or call 07730377137, do not try and book through the web site as there is a technical issue with receiving booking for this event

25 in stock

Categories: ,

September is Scottish Archaeology month. This is one of a series of events taking place in the Calanais centre to celebrate it.


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Sunken Treasures: Making Sense of Hebridean Neolithic Pottery”

Your email address will not be published.

Event Details

Opportunities for debate and discussing afterwards in the café.

Date: September 22, 2022

Start time: 19:30 BST

End time: 20:45 BST

Venue: Calanais Visitor Centre

Phone: 07730377137