EHG4763 - Watching brief - proposed ASDA Store, Slackbuie, Inverness



NG Archaeology Services


July-Sept 2011


A watching brief was maintained by NG Archaeology Services in 2011 during the enabling phase of construction work for a new ASDA store at Slackbuie, Inverness. This followed phases of trial trenching and excavation of selected areas in 2008 and 2009-10 (see EHG3271). This work was carried out between 27th July 2011 and 12th August 2011 and between the 11th September and 16th September 2011. The aims were to establish dates for the use of the sites, obtain a plan of features, attempt to identify structures and areas of specific, and identify through environmental sampling and the collection of artefacts, the physical conditions and social interactions related to the use of the site and its surrounding environs. Up to 3 JCBs with 2m back-acting buckets were watched by 5 archaeologists who then recorded and excavated any potential features as work progressed. All features were 100% hand excavated and where finds of flint or significant finds were noted hand sieving or 100% sampling took place environmental, construction and archaeological matters influenced the choice of methodology and ability to maintain continuity across the site. Heavy rains hampered work on the buried stream in Area 25, at times washing away features and flooding the lower section. Results from this site included the identification of Lower Slackbuie as a site rich in archaeological material ranging from the Mesolithic to the present, with substantial evidence of habitation or repeat use during the Neolithic. Of significant interest was the location of two ring ditches, a possible prehistoric cairn/house, a palaeochannel from which thousands of lithics were recovered and approximately 700 features excavated. The large number of isolated features of archaeological interest across the entire site and its use as a place of prehistoric human activity for at least 4100 years, between the Early Neolithic and Early Iron Age, in themselves make this site of local importance. The grouping of features and the variation and quantity of material culture ensure that the site is of national importance. Added to this is the knowledge that further archaeological features were seen to continue beyond the site's limit of excavation. Specialist analysis in the post-excavation phase was sought from staff at CFA Archaeology Ltd. <1>

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <1> Text/Report/Fieldwork Report: Garry, N.. 05/2010. Excavations of Lower Slackbuie, Inverness, prehistoric site, Project codes SL09 and SL09WB for ASDA Stores Ltd. N G Archaeology Services. Digital.



Location Slackbuie
Grid reference Centred NH 6716 4220 (290m by 345m)
Map sheet NH64SE
Geographical Area INVERNESS

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Record last edited

Nov 25 2019 3:06PM

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