Thirlings, Building A. Archaeological evidence for the elevation of the building.
Image in the animation: © O’Brien & Miket 1991: 63, fig. 3 (

The process of making reconstructions based on archaeological evidence is influenced by the individuals involved and their knowledge, views and experiences. This could be seen as a problem, but it provides great potential for different people to get engaged with the project and debate how the reconstruction is done. In this respect, it is important to be aware of what are certain facts and what is hypothetical.  

The archaeologists who excavated Building A suggested a potential structure based on their evidence and comparison to similar buildings found in Britain. Most of this was based on work done by Simon James, Anne Marshall and Martin Millett on buildings excavated at Cowdery’s Down in Hampshire dating to the 6th-7th century CE. At this site, the internal posts were thought to have supported a pitched roof with a central rafter, with the external timbers bearing additional weight. 

However, there was still information missing. The buildings at Cowdery’s Down do not tell us the height of the walls, the number or size of windows, or anything about the interior of the structures or how they were used. 

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