Scholarly reconstructions are not the result of a deductive process, but emerge from complex procedures that actively involve the subjective points of view and individual experience of the people who tackle them. Although this aspect could be perceived as a limit, it actually constitutes a great resource with the potential to create horizontal and constructive debates between local communities, the wider public, institutions, entrepreneurs, and academics. It is therefore fundamental to draw a clear distinction between what is certain and what is hypothetical in scholarly reconstructions.
The archaeologists who directed the excavation of “Building A” at Thirlings proposed a reconstruction of the structure based on the available evidence and on the comparisons with other early medieval sites in Britain. In most of its features, the reconstruction matches the architectural typology outlined by Simon James, Anne Marshall and Martin Millett on the basis of the sixth– seventh centuries CE buildings that were excavated at Cowdery’s Down in Hampshire. The main internal posts were interpreted as evidence of timber supports for a pitched roof with a central rafter, and the external rows of pits as posts for timbers contrasting the outer force caused by the weight of the roof on the walls.
As for the buildings in Cowdery’s Down, there is no clear evidence for the height of the walls, the number and size of the windows, or the decoration, furniture and use of the structure.