Edinburgh Research Explorer

Architectural analysis of monumental motives: Towards a methodological investigation into Iron Age drystone roundhouses in Scotland: An interim's statement from an architectural perspective

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArchaeotecture: Second Floor
Subtitle of host publicationPapers from the Archaeology of Architecture sessions held at the EAA meeting in St Petersburg (2003) and Lyon (2004)
EditorsXurxo Ayán, Patricia Mañana, Rebeca Blanco
Place of PublicationOxford
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781407305042
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Publication series

NameBritish Archaeological Reports International Series


This paper intends to outline the development of a methodology of architectural analysis currently worked on in the author’s PhD-thesis (Romankiewicz in prep.). Monumental Iron Age roundhouses in Scotland are analysed from an architectural perspective, designed to identify and evaluate their construction and aesthetical aspects. This is achieved by studying ground plans, elevations, structural systems and building materials and reconstructing the construction process and lost building parts.
This architectural approach hopes to provide a new perspective for the study of Iron Age roundhouses in Scotland and intends to prove interrelations of design and structure to reveal their complexities and the architectural sophistication of Iron Age roundhouses. The results are verified according to architectural and engineering principles to support archaeological discussions on wider interpretations of Iron Age societies.
Starting with a general definition of architecture, the different Iron Age stone roundhouse types found in Scotland are introduced, concluding that all achieve monumentality by different means. An analysis of internal space, expounding its role in the overall design of the houses is followed by a discussion of the possible motives behind the designs that created different ground plan patterns in relation to external elevation. These motives not only help to explain the development of monumental design, but also allow conclusion about the organisation of the societies that built them.

ID: 23452505