An archaeological excavation undertaken on behalf of the Nevis Landscape Partnership and Forestry Commission Scotland, with local volunteers, and AOC Archaeology Group at the vitrified hillfort of Dun Deardail, Glen Nevis, Lochaber.
The 2017 works form the final phase of a three phase project with two season’s fieldwork having been completed. The first two years of investigations comprised the excavation of eight trenches, along with topographic and geophysical survey.
The 2017 works comprised the excavation of two trenches, one within the upper ‘citadel’ area of the hillfort and the other investigating the area dividing the ‘citadel’ from the lower area of the hillfort.
Trench 1, excavated in the upper ‘citadel’ area of the hillfort, exposed a series of stone built hearths set on an extensive area of paving that pre-dated the vitrification of the hillfort. This hearth and paving would have been at the centre of a probable turf or timber building, however evidence for any structural elements of this lay outwith the trench save for a couple of scoops and postholes.
Trench 5 investigated the break between the upper ‘citadel’ and the lower internal terraces of the hillfort. In this trench evidence for the multi-phase occupation of the hillfort was recovered. The pre-vitrification structures comprised a wall which separated the two areas of the hillfort which, whilst not vitrified, was heavily affected by the intense heat of the fire reducing it to small pieces of shattered stone. Downslope from this was a foundation comprising a layer of rounded boulders overlying a layer of rounded cobbles. Overlying these two walls were a series of burning and collapse deposits relating to the vitrification. Above these vitrification deposits there was evidence for the re-occupation of the hillfort. The main wall dividing the two areas of the hillfort appeared to be re-built, and within this was an occupation deposit and a slight wall. <1>
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