In October of last year, a large wooden object was found by workers machine digging a trench on behalf of Scottish Water. It was found at a depth of around 1.8m, lay on the surface of a deposit of compact grey silt, overlain by peat. The object was excavated by machine and then reported to staff from Rathmell Archaeology Ltd, who had undertaken archaeological work elsewhere on the pipeline scheme.
The object comprises a section from a hollowed-out log or tree-trunk, split in half longitudinally prior to the removal of the heartwood. It is broken at one end, with the other, complete end, comprises a roughly squared off external surface, and a neatly finished internal face. The exterior surface is deeply fissured, with the bark of the tree potentially still in situ. The base of the interior is flat, the internal section comprising a squared-off 'u'. The external surface of the base could not be examined in any detail in case strain was put on the fragile upper edges, but it did appear to be rounded. Perhaps the most striking feature of the interior is a circular perforation, measuring 0.23m in diameter. This is located in the centre of the base, close to the surviving 'butt' end of the object.
The object is blackened as a result of its long-term immersion in peat. There has been some cracking of the in situ heartwood at the 'butt' end. Over the portion of the interior located close to the 'butt' end, the surface is very well-preserved with traces of tool marks. The edges of the circular hole are also associated with surviving tool marks. It is fragmentary, with the surface poorly preserved at the incomplete end. The upper edges of the sides and rear, 'butt', end are also in poor condition. Initial inspection appeared to suggest that it could be a logboat or canoe, but the presence of a large hole in its base, as well as its find-spot, appear to suggest that it may more probably represent a trough.