In 2012 Highland Archaeology Services Ltd. undertook an archaeological evaluation of five stone mounds at Bettyhill, Sutherland in advance of the proposed installation of two wind turbines. Earlier surveys had identified a group of possible archaeological features close to the proposed site of one of the turbines, and at risk from its construction. When construction started it appeared that these could not be safeguarded as planned, so this evaluation was undertaken to establish their nature and if necessary, prepare for full excavation and recording before destruction. Six features were investigated. A small trench across a circular earthwork feature showed that it was almost certainly a round house of late Bronze Age or Iron Age date (c. 3000 – 1,500 years ago). The other features were all substantial cairns. No structural features, burials or datable artefacts were found, and were interpreted as clearance cairns from clearing fields for stock-rearing, probably associated with the nearby round house. In the event, it proved possible to re-site the turbine and avoid the features. The sample trenches were backfilled and reinstated. A watching brief was also conducted during the machine excavation of two test pits opened on the far side of a gully to the north of the study area in order to inform decisions on micro-siting the turbine. <1>
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