EHG1245 - Excavation and topographical survey - Balblair Quarry, Beauly



Headland Archaeology Ltd


Nov-Dec 2004


Full excavation was undertaken by Headland Archaeology in 2005 on the remains of a large sub-circular prehistoric funerary monument in Balblair Wood, Beauly, in advance of a quarry extension. In addition to the full excavation of the cairn a monitored topsoil strip of a wider area was also carried out (see EHG1547). The cairn was located in a pre-eminent position on the edge of a prominent natural feature; as such it might be expected to have become a focus for other broadly contemporary and later burial practices or other activities. The area surrounding the cairn was machine stripped to the perceived edge of the stone spread before excavation commenced. The body of the cairn was then hand cleaned; overlying peat soil and loose stones were removed to reveal the surviving elements of the cairn in their entirety. These consisted of a sub-circular spread of stone ranging from cobbles to small boulders. A full topographical survey of the monument and its immediate environs was undertaken after spurious deposits had been removed. Excavation of the central burial, already partially exposed during the evaluation phase, was undertaken first. This was carried out in conjunction with the excavation of two trenches extending north-west and south-east respectively away from the central burial both to examine the depth of the cairn material and to provide a complete profile through the deposits and the upper horizon of the underlying natural ground surface and incorporating the down-slope edge of the terrace. Excavations revealed that the central burial had most likely been robbed in antiquity. No other burials or other archaeological features were identified in the surfaces preserved beneath the spread of the cairn. <1> The previous work and excavation have been formally published in PSAS. <2>

Sources/Archives (2)



Location Balblair Quarry, Beauly
Grid reference Centred NH 50091 44348 (56m by 57m) (5 map features)
Map sheet NH54SW
Civil Parish KILMORACK
Geographical Area INVERNESS

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

  • Round cairn, Balblair Wood 1 (Monument)

External Links (1)

Record last edited

Oct 21 2014 2:16PM

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