An archaeological watching brief and desk-based assessment were conducted in March 2007 to establish the nature and extent of any archaeology likely to be affected by the underground laying of a high voltage electrical cable near Dornoch, Sutherland. Although no recorded sites lay directly in the path of the new cable trench, both field archaeology and documentary records indicate a long history of settlement in the south-eastern part of Sutherland. The desk-based assessment which preceded the watching brief highlighted the discovery of a Neolithic polished stone axe (Highland SMR NH79SE0045) and microlith (Highland SMR NH79SE0063) within the adjoining fields of the watching brief area. In 1938 during deep ploughing a local farmer uncovered the remains of two stone burial cists and evidence of the remains of a burial cairn (Highland SMR NH79SE0013) in the field east of the new cable trench (O.S. location NH 798 902). The power-cable trench was cut at a width of 2m, using a mechanical excavator fitted with a straight-edged 2m wide ditching bucket. 10 features were identified; 4 field drains, 1 post hole, 4 pits and a feature of no archaeological significance. A possible rudimentary sandstone quern stone was also discovered. The limitations of the trench width made it impossible to reveal the true archaeological potential of the area. <1>
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