Was Bronze Age Really Start of the Ice Age?
Byline: Moira Kerr
RESIDENTS of Scotland may have had 'mod cons' as many as 4,000 years ago, according to archaeologists.
They have discovered what are believed to be some of the country's earliest cold storage larders - precursors to the fridge - at a Bronze Age site.
The larders were uncovered by a team investigating six roundhouses found at a housing development site at Dunstaffnage, near Oban, Argyll. They are the first north of the Border to have ring ditches inside.
Dr Clare Ellis, of Argyll Archaeology, who led an evaluation at the site, believes the ditches are cellars for keeping food cool.
She said: 'This is a new design, not recognised or seen before in Scotland. The general consensus was that ring ditches occur outside the roof supports of roundhouses, but still within the roundhouse structure, and were erosional features where animals were kept.
'But these are inside the roof support area and the theory is that they are low cellars that would have had wooden floors over them. We think they are an early form of cellar, an early larder storage system.
'In the Iron Age they had banana-shaped cellars and this would appear to be the precursor to that. They are on the coolest side of the house. It's like an early form of refrigeration, where they would keep cheeses, milk, dried meat, salted fish and grain.' While archaeologists have discovered older areas for the storage of food on Orkney, dating back to Neolithic times, the Dunstaffnage finds are the earliest roundhouse stores of their kind to be uncovered. …