EHG5559 - Geophysical surveys - Swartigill Burn





Aug 2014


A fluxgate gradiometer survey, an earth resistance survey and a ground penetrating radar survey were carried out by ORCA in 2014 at land next to the Burn of Swartigill, Caithness. The survey was aimed at characterising the extent and the nature of a site being eroded by the burn. The gradiometer survey highlighted an area measuring 25m x 30m, presenting strong magnetic variation likely to be associated with anthropogenic activity and potentially the presence of a settlement. The earth resistance suggested, within this area of enhancement, the presence of a potential sub-rectangular structure measuring 10m x16m. The ground penetrating radar helped clarify the nature of some anomalies visible in the gradiometer and earth resistance survey. Previous work on the site, including the cleaning back and recording of structural remain in the Burn of Swartigill section produced a substantial quantity of early and late Iron Age ceramics, and it is possible that the results of this geophysical survey may have unveiled a late Iron Age settlement, with a ‘wag’ or a ‘figure-eight’ building, present. There are very few examples of these sites that have been subject to geophysical survey, and there is great potential here for further work to investigate and inform our understandings of this type of site. It is hoped that the data gathered during the survey will enhance the previous work undertaken by members of the Yarrows Heritage Trust and will assist in the planning of further work on the Burn of Swartigill. <1>

Sources/Archives (1)



Location Swartigill Burn
Grid reference Centred ND 3210 4573 (67m by 93m) (4 map features)
Map sheet ND34NW
Civil Parish WICK
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

  • Iron age occupation site - Swartigill Burn, Thrumster (Monument)

External Links (0)

Record last edited

May 11 2023 11:41AM

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