4 Pages


The late monastic phase on Iona is the phase to which all stone buildings, except the Chapel in the graveyard, belong. All evidence before excavation of the Old Guest House pointed to its place in the Benedictine building tradition walls of mortared stone including re-used free-stone, island stone, and mainly red Mull granite, and good free-stone for the door in the south wall. The floor level of the stone building remains a mystery. Above the rubbish layer was a layer containing bright orange-red burnt debris, charcoal, and more bones. In the present inadequate state of animal archaeology any bone report is subject to several sources of error. A peculiarity of butchering technique was noted in the upper bones; the distal humerus was split lengthwise, presumably to disarticulate the elbow joint. Very few pig bones were found in the lower collection. Again, the impression is of prime meat animals but the number is not sufficient to give a really definite assessment.