EHG5014 - Trial Trenching and excavation - Windhill, Muir of Ord



AOC Archaeology Group


May-June 2015


An archaeological evaluation and targeted excavation was carried out by AOC Archaeology in 2015 ahead of proposed development across two enclosed fields in the area south of ‘The Cairns’, Great North Road, Muir of Ord – an area known as Windhill. The site, which contains the locations of a standing stone and cropmarks, is located within a rich prehistoric landscape that surrounds the Muir of Ord area. Thirty-five trenches were excavated across two enclosed fields, which represented approximately two-thirds of the overall proposed development area. In trenches containing significant archaeological remains, the trench was expanded and targeted excavation was undertaken to expose the extent of large features or groups. Excavation revealed an area of prehistoric monumental architecture in the northern part of the site. Two parallel rows of large pits were interpreted as an avenue forming part of a late Neolithic Period or Early Bronze Age landscape. It comprised opposing alignments of 11 deep postholes representing the locations of timber posts and spanned an area 35m long NNW-SSE by 5.5m wide. Approximately 70m to the west of this, part of a large circular ditch were interpreted as a monumental henge that could have measured up to 160m in diameter. Fragments of Early Bronze Age / Chalcolithic Beaker and Food Vessel pots, struck flint flakes and small amounts of cremated bone were recovered from the ditch. In the central area of the proposed development site, a posthole alignment running ENE-WSW formed a structural alignment of uncertain use, potentially partial remains of an Iron Age palisade enclosure. Other archaeological evidence uncovered included Early Bronze Age and Early Medieval pit groups and a truncated linear ditch running NNW-SSE across the site. Subsequent post-excavation analysis included environmental sample processing and assessment, artefact assessments of lithics, prehistoric ceramics, animal bone, daub, and metals. A programme of radiocarbon dating was undertaken on 20 samples. A further programme of archaeological fieldwork will be required in advance of development across the overall development boundary, to include full post-excavation analysis, reporting and publication. While the full set of data registers can be found in the Data Structure Report, the final report contains the fieldwork results integrated with the post-excavation results. <1> <2>

Sources/Archives (2)



Location Windhill, Muir of Ord
Grid reference Centred NH 5299 4848 (251m by 291m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH54NW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish URRAY

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Record last edited

Jan 22 2024 11:05AM

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