The Carpow Logboat joins 25 objects that shaped Scotland’s history

From a Roman distance slab to a medieval football, Antarctic goggles to a dancing fiddle – VisitScotland has today (20 July) revealed the top 25 objects that have shaped Scotland’s history in a stunning new e-book.

The list has been unveiled on International Chess Day (20 July) as a special nod to the most famous chess pieces in history – the Lewis Chessmen  – who feature at number 9 on the date ordered list. 

Compiled by an expert panel for the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, the 25 objects cover over 5000 years of Scottish history and the length and breadth of the country from Shetland to Dumfries and Galloway. 

The objects were chosen based on chronological and geographic spread alongside their individual interesting stories. The final 25 were chosen by a panel that included representatives from Historic Environment Scotland, National Museums of Scotland, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and VisitScotland.

VisitScotland hopes that visitors will go on a trail this summer to discover as many of the objects as possible and in turn discover more about Scotland’s fascinating past.

The oldest object in the list is a barbed harpoon point (originally found in the Macarthur Cave, Oban) that dates back to the Middle Stone Age, and is one of the earliest instruments used to hunt and fish in Scotland.

The most modern in the list is Dolly the Sheep – the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell – who is currently housed at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and celebrated her 20th anniversary in 2016.

More unusual objects on the list include the Orkney Venus – the earliest known depiction of the female human form – which dates from the Neolithic period and was uncovered at the Links of Noltland on the Orkney island of Westray in 2009.

A violin which ignited Robert Burns’ rebellious streak, revealing more about the great Bard’s personality is another object that makes the final cut.  The Gregg Violin was owned by Burns’ dance teacher, William Gregg. In around 1779, Robert Burns started taking dancing lessons and wrote that he hoped these new skills would ‘give my manners a brush’, but it was most likely an act of rebellion because his father did not approve of such seemingly sinful behaviour.

The Carpow Logboat

A major project led by the Trust over 10 years, to excavate, recover, conserve and display a 3,000 year old log-boat from the Tay estuary. The results, presented in an award-winning monograph, led to the innovative Loch Tay logboat experiment.

In 2006 the Trust excavated and recovered a unique Late Bronze Age logboat from the Tay estuary near Perth. From discovery of the boat in 2001, the project took over 10 years to complete and resulted in two major publications and exhibition of the vessel in Perth Museum and Art Gallery. The Trust led a partnership including CFA Archaeology Ltd, local marine engineering firm Moorings and Marine Services, and both the National Museums of Scotland and Perth Museum and Art Gallery.

 

Excavation and recovery of the 9m waterlogged boat from the inter-tidal zone of the mighty Tay was logistically challenging and conservation and study of the vessel at the National Museums of Scotland identified fixtures and fittings, damage, wear, and even tool-marks from socketted axes and moss caulking used to make a boat water-tight.

Dating to around 1000 BC, Carpow is one of the best preserved prehistoric log-boats from Britain, the second oldest boat known from Scotland. To find out more, read one of our award-winning publications on the boat, which use extensive illustrations to tell the story of the discovery, excavation, conservation, but also how this remarkable find has contributed to our understanding of Bronze Age life in Scotland.