Central Excavation Unit (Scottish Development Department)
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Excavation and a resistivity survey by the Central Excavation Unit under the direction of John Barber were carried out in 1982 at the ring cairn of Culdoich, Clava, Inverness. The site lies to the SW of the main group of Clava cairns. Excavation at the fallen stone which prompted the investigation produced no dating evidence. The orthostat was thought to have been the remnant of a stone circle which encircled the cairn, but the resistivity survey of the area failed to locate any other sockets. Limited excavation under a large slab near the cairn produced ard marks, post-holes and a sherd of pottery under c. 60cm of soil. This implies that a settlement, possibly associated with the cairns, lies protected beneath this layer. <1>
Closer analysis of the published report and site plan reveal that there are several inaccuracies. The text states that Cutting 3, excavated to investigate whether there had originally been a ring of standing stones, lay to the southwest of the cairn. This is clearly in error as the site plan has been published with north to the southeast. This means that the plan needs to be re-orientated and cutting 3 actually lay to the northeast of the cairn. Once rectified into GIS it is also clear that Cutting 1, which was placed to examine the immediate area of the fallen standing stone has been drawn approximately 6m too far to the southeast. The depiction of the surviving stones on the northeast side of the cairn would also indicate that this area of the plan has been stretched almost 1.5m northeastwards and twisted slightly. It is unknown whether this has also affected the depiction of the resitivity survey area but as it appears to be more or less rectilinear on the plan it may not have been. This would imply that two different plans have been superimposed [IS-L 10/01/2018].
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