EHG5392 - Trial trenching - Hidden Bronze Age Landscape of Caithness Project



AOC Archaeology Group


Aug-Sept 2015


Trial trenching was carried out in 2015 on the site of a possible burnt mound and a hut circle at Skaill, Caithness, targeted as part of the 'Hidden Bronze Age Landscape of Caithness Project' undertaken by AOC Archaeology Group and members of the Castletown Heritage Society with local volunteers. The sites had been identified in LiDAR data gathered by AOC Archaeology in 2011 as part of the mitigation for the visual impact on the archaeological landscape associated with the proposed Baillie Hill windfarm. The project ran as a series of four week long field schools training volunteers in techniques of field survey, systematic soil sampling and targeted excavation. Fieldwork in week three of the fieldschool included gradiometer survey of the two hut circles and possible burnt mound prior to planned further investigation by trial trenching. Two trenches were excavated: Trench 1 in the possible burnt mound, which found that it was in fact a hut circle; Trench 2 was excavated in the southernmost hut circle and Trench 3 was excavated to look for additional signs of prehistoric agriculture after ard marks were found in the natural in Trench 2. Trench 3 was excavated to the east of the hut circle investigated by trench 2 in an area with no upstanding monuments. It was a slot trench measuring 6.5m N-S by 0.5m aiming to look for traces of prehistoric cultivation associated with the hut circles to the north and west. A deposit of dark greyish brown humic silty clay topsoil, up to 0.2m thick was removed across the trench to expose the orange grey silty clay glacial till natural subsoil. No features of archaeological interest were observed. <1> NOTE: the location of Trench 3 is not illustrated in the report.

Sources/Archives (1)



Location Skaill
Grid reference Centred ND 0178 6603 (16m by 53m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND06NW
Civil Parish THURSO
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Related Monuments/Buildings (4)

  • BA agriculture - NE of Cnoc Freiceadain, Caithness (Monument)
  • BA burnt mound - NE of Cnoc Freiceadain, Caithness (Monument)
  • Early-Middle BA Hut circle - NE of Cnoc Freiceadain, Caithness (Monument)
  • Middle BA hut circle - NE of Cnoc Freiceadain, Caithness (Monument)

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Sep 1 2020 3:48PM

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