Discovery by the River Conan

The rain……it has not receded for some time now.  Days and days go by with a perpetual dampness that seeps all the way down into the spirit.  I can only keep my mind occupied with reading and doting away time with television so much before wings of adventure begin to ruffle in anticipation for another journey to another destination.  Somedays I am stopped from ever leaving the couch and blanket because it is simply too cold.  All I can do is helplessly stare out the double-pane window to look across the bay and guess when the next time will be I see Helios riding his solar chariot through the sky instead of forlorn grey clouds heavy and puffy with more wet dreariness.

Despite this major setback in ever getting a good day to go outside, I still cannot resist the pangs I feel inside for fresh air and something new.  Although the weather may be too extreme for a mountain hike across the Quirang or up to the crest of Beinn Edra, I look for micro-ventures which make the best out of the situation.

At the southernmost point in Uig lies the River Conan.  A beautiful river running swiftly through a heavily wooded and steep gorge.  There’s a small path that runs from the road to a dike 100 meters in to the canyon.  After that the trail is left up to personal interpretation which does involve clambering over more than a few fallen mossy trees that straddle the width of the river flow or walking on a slippery granite overhanging wet pinnacles below.  It was a short (2km) traverse to the end of the canyon where lies a beautiful misty waterfall falling gracefully to the bottom of the canyon.  This walk is an overlooked gem by far.  The immaculate condition and density of the woods and river leaves feelings of escaping civilization……even if you’re only a short walk away from residences which cannot be spotted anywhere along the walk.  I do warn that the way is treacherous and very easy to slip in the mud and slide down to fatality.

It’s not the walk that got my nerves excited, it was what I found by the river.

On the way back from the waterfall finale I discovered, nestled in the sand and rocks lying by the river, a few peculiar pot shards sticking out towards me, as if they were small children reaching upwards with their arms for me to pick them up.

I picked up a good sized piece and to my amazement of what I initially considered was common litter I saw that the decoration on this piece was not of generic Tesco-esque quality but of something more.  The pot shard was hand-painted and of a good old age.

After picking around at other pieces along the riverbank I see that this is simply not just from one pot as well but from multiple specimens.  I quickly gather some in my pocket to take home for identification.

Spending last night surfing around on Google I searched ceramic websites like you wouldn’t believe.  I worked my way back in time starting from 20th century pottery to Victorian to Elizabethan to finally medieval.  I peeled back these segments of time just as one peels an onion layer by layer.

I had no luck on dicovering possibly even the century in which these designs on the fragments spawned from and this could be wishful thinking, but I did spot a few medieval ceramics that had the same sort of “sculpt” and look to them as did those in my find.

I know searching on google cannot even be considered hard reasearch but it’s the best that can be done on Skye for now.  I am planning to send off a few of the pictures to some collectors whom might be able to help with dating the shards but please feel free to share these pictures to anyone who might know just even a little bit about pottery or physical anthropology/archaeology of the Britons.  Any answers to the find will be credited and added in an update and all input is appreciated.

Pot shards found by the River Conan

Pot shards found by the River Conan

CIMG0011

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CIMG0012

Detail