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A Short History of Moffat
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Prehistoric Moffat :
The Three Stannin' Stones
This all-embracing title covers the history of this area roughly from the end of the last Ice Age in 10,000 B.C. to the arrival of the Roman Army in the First Century A.D. Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age cultures have left no written records, but ample signs of their presence. Dumfries Museum contains a wide range of atrefacts and records of excavations and examinations of the Moffat area. The writer gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Siobhan Ratchford in researching the pre-1600s history of the Moffat area.
A yew longbow found at Rotten Bottom gives the first tangible glimpse of the later hunter/gatherers of 4040-3640 BC. A reconstructed bow had a draw-weight of about fifty pounds and a range of 50 to 55 metres. This is very short compared to the up to 300 metres of a Welsh mediaeval yew bow of over a hundred pounds draw-weight. However, the Rotten Bottom weapon would have easily killed a deer or a human being, possibly even a bear.
The famous Early Bronze Age 'Iceman' found in the Austrian Alps bore a bow very similar to the Rotten Bottom example, with a bowstring of nettle or flax fibre.
Other discovered prehistoric remains in the immediate Moffat area are rather sparse, due to the effects of farming, erosion, later settlement and road and railway developments. The best known prehistoric remains are the Three Standing Stones (Three Stannin' Stones) illustrated at the head of this page, which are on the north side of the road into Moffat, halfway between the Dyke Farm entry and the abutments of the old railway bridge.
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All text and images © 1999 Richard Edkins of Dalbeattie Internet.
Moffat Town Website started 8th December 1999.
Last updated 16th December 1999.