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Monastic settlement founded by St Moulag discovered on Scottish island

The ruins of a 7th-century monastic settlement have been discovered on the island of Lismore in Scotland. Researchers at the Lismore Gaelic Heritage Centre made the announcement.

The entire excavation project took around six years, with a significant delay caused by the pandemic.

The discovery was part of a monastic settlement consisting of several buildings and workshops for creating fine carvings in wood, stone, bone, and antler.

In the vicinity of the main building, which has an oval shape and 9 m in diameter, 120 fragments of crucibles were found, a tool used to finely crush a compound, proving that the workshops were specialized in producing high-quality objects.

Furthermore, an X-ray analysis of the surfaces of these crucibles at the National Museum of Scotland revealed that they were used for melting copper alloys, silver, and gold.

Radiocarbon dating has placed the building to the 7th-10th century AD during the period of the early monastery.

According to tradition, Saint Moluag arrived on the island around 560 in an attempt to evangelise the Picts and passed away in 592, as registered in an obituary found in the Annals of Ireland.

Photo courtesy of Lismore Gaelic Heritage Centre / Facebook