Excavations underway!

Posted by on Sep 30, 2015 in Bronze Age, Excavation, Prehistory, Public archaeology
Excavations underway!

The fourth and final week of fieldwork as part of AWindow on the Hidden Bronze Age Landscape of Caithness is well underway now!

We’ve chosen as the subject of our investigations into Bronze Age settlement an interesting hut circle at Skaill, close to Baillie Hill and the chambered cairns on Cnoc Freiceadain. The site was not known before the LiDAR survey was carried out, and our team of volunteers were the first to record the site, so we are genuinely breaking new ground!

Our first couple of days on site have involved deturfing the trenches, and already we’re finding lots of exciting archaeology. Wall faces and paving stones are already visible, as well as arrangements of edge-set stones… perhaps the remains of a hearth or post settings?

Perhaps the most interesting result so far has been the discovery of masses of burnt stone and charcoal in the bank of the hut-circle- typical remains usually found on a burnt mound, sites that are often interpreted as Bronze Age cooking sites. Was our site originally a burnt mound that was dug into and reshaped to make a roundhouse?

Today volunteer Vanessa excavated the remains of what may be a very crude ceramic vessel… It was in very poor condition though, so we lifted it intact and encased in the soils that buried it. We’ll have to await excavation in the lab before we can confirm what it is!

Stay tuned for more updates!


Vanessa preparing to lift the possible pot


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