Area is known for historical riches
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/30/2012 -- The pit of what possibly was an ancient sauna has been unearthed in the northwest Highlands of Scotland.
Archaeologists said that slabs and a pit almost 3 feet deep might be remains of a bathing site dating to the Bronze Age.
A team of archaeologists and volunteers from the Fire and Water Project, managed by the group Historic Assynt, began trying to figure out the purpose of a mound of stones that was shaped in a semicircle at Stronechrubie in Assynt. In their excavation, archaeologists found a layer of clay above the pit and a channel to a stream nearby.
“Under a strange layer of clay, we came down to a 1.5-meter-square, 1-meter-deep pit dug into the ground with a channel to feed water in from a nearby burn, plus three slabs which may indicate it was once lined with stone,” said Gordon Sleight, a Historic Assynt project leader, according to the BBC.
The researchers speculated that it might have been used as a sauna or as a site for brewing.
“There were no animal bones or anything to suggest its use as a cooking site, and its size would have made it well-night impossible to bring to a boiling point,” Sleight said. “So warm water is more likely, which suggests it was used for bathing, or perhaps as a sauna or sweat lodge.”
The Assynt area is rich with historical sites such as the remains of a home known as the “Clachtoll broch” that dates back 2,000 years.
The broch is thought to have been constructed by a sea faring civilization before the Romans conquered southern Britain. According to Historic Assynt, this advanced culture ranged from the Northern Isles to the Hebrides.
The ancient Greek geographer Pytheas might have seen the structure’s tower when he sailed around Britain.
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