Dunadd: an Early Dalriadic Capital

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Dunadd (NR 836936) is a craggy rock situated at a constriction of the main peninsular part of Argyll, with the district of Knapdale lying to the south and Mid-Argyll to the north. It lies within the Crinan Moss (Gaelic Moine Mhor), a flat lying area much of which is covered in peat bog. The site is 4 km from the sea at Loch Crinan, a large bay which opens onto the Sound of Jura. The River Add, a substantial river, meanders round the north and east of the site and frequently floods the adjacent river terraces. There is a dense concentration of prehistoric burial monuments in the area, which is generally referred to as the Kilmartin Valley.

Dunadd is one of the most significant archaeological sites in Scotland, and one of the most important early medieval sites in Britain. The site is a fortified hilltop, important as a royal centre of the early Scots in the kingdom of Dal Riata. The site was excavated in 1980-81 by Dr Alan Lane of the Department of Archaeology, University of Cardiff.

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