Link to printer-friendly page

Record details

ID:EHG3960
External Ref:
Name:Excavation - Nybster Broch, Canisbay
Organisation:AOC Archaeology Group
Date:Apr-Aug 2011

Description

Excavations were carried out between the 26th April and 8th May (season 1), and the 1st August and 13th of August 2011 (season 2), by AOC archaeology Group and Caithness Archaeological Trust as a public archaeology project at Nybster Broch, Caithness. Post excavation analysis was carried out between the 6th and 10th June and the 1st and 13th of August to allow volunteers the opportunity to learn how to process soil samples. The initial phase of excavations in 2011 focused on the enclosing outwork, whilst the second phase investigated the cellular buildings at the east end of the promontory. Radiocarbon dating was also carried out suggesting that the initial enclosure dated to the late Bronze Age, with occupation dating to the later first millenium BC and early first millenium AD, as well as evidence for the use of the site for burial after the collapse of the defensive rampart. The excavations produced a sizeable stone tool, bone and ceramic assemblage, evidence of metalworking, and a roman bead indicating long distance trade. <1> <2>

Note: OS Mastermap appears to be incorrect for this area. GIS data as supplied: larger season 2 shape does not match site plan.

Type(s) of Investigation

  • EXCAVATION

Images

General view of the roundhouse from the E (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyThe north section of the rampart, pre-excavation (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyStone setting 5019, part-ex, showing collapsed slab lining (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyStone setting 5019, post-ex, showing phase 1 wall face [5046] within (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyStone setting [5026] pre-ex (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyStone setting [5068] post-ex (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyStone setting [5068] showing cut [5063], from south (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyThe phase 1 rampart, with stone setting [5026] to the left, and pit [5053] to the right (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyThe phase 1 rampart, outer face [5002], slumped outwards at c.45 degrees (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologySection through phase 1 rampart (top left) and phase 2 rampart (top right) with phase 2 cell in the foreground (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyUpper paving [5036] in the phase 2 cell, from the south (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyLower flooring [5061] in phase 2 cell, from south (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyWalling [5004] (right) and cell walling [5037], overlying the saddle quern (SF 553) (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyArd marks scored into the natural beneath [5072], and broken orthostats [5074] from pre-rampart phase (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyDrain [5058], with [5004] above (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyOrthostats [5005] in bedding slot [5040] from east (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyDoor pivot in the entrance through the late orthostatic division [5005], with steps [5006] behind (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyRubble [5014] outside the rampart in the north slot (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyGeneral view of the south end of the trench, post-excavation, from the east (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyGeneral view of the trench showing the phase 1 and phase 2 ramparts, from north (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyGeneral view of OB2E, OB2W and OB4 (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyOB2(W), showing the orthostatic division between the main structure and the subsidiary cell (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyOB2(W) during excavation (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyOB2(W) with drain slot in centre, primary and secondary paving to the left, and midden deposit 2011 to right (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyDisturbed hearth in OB2(W) (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyPaving [2006] in OB2(W) (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyOB4 during excavation, from the E (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyOB4, northern annex cell after removal of the turf (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyOB4, southern annex cell after removal of the turf (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyOB4, phase 1 hearths and deposits (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyNatural patterning in the Phase 1 paving slabs, OB4 (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyOB4, hearth 1 (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyOB4, stone setting [4007] (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyStone setting in SW of OB4 (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyOB4, southern entrance passage annex, from the N (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyOB5 South, showing phase 2 outer wall face (lower) and phase 1 outer wall face (above) on bedrock (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC ArchaeologyOB5 south, showing th quarried bedrock face of the rock-cut ditch (photo by AOC Archaeology)  © AOC Archaeology

Reports

Fieldwork Report  © AOC Archaeology (File size: 39534 KB)
Grid Reference:Centred ND 3701 6314 (44m by 35m)
Map Sheet:ND36SE
Civil Parish:CANISBAY
Geographical Area:CAITHNESS
Location:Nybster broch

Associated Finds - none

Sources and further reading

  • Text/Report/Fieldwork Report: Cavers, G & Heald, A. 2012. Community Excavations at Nybster Broch: Summer 2011: Final Report. AOC Archaeology Group. Digital.
  • Text/Report: Douglas, C, R. 2012. The Nybster Broch Project Community Involvement. AOC Archaeology Group. Digital.

Related Monuments/Buildings

MHG1593Nybster Broch - Roundhouse and settlement, Canisbay (Monument)

Related thematic articles

Monuments/Buildings
Investigations
Conservation Areas
Listed Buildings
Scheduled Ancient Monuments
Designed Landscapes
Registered Battlefields
Marine Protected Areas