A fluxgate gradiometer survey and an earth resistance survey were carried out by ORCA in 2017 at Bruan, on land located to the south of the A99 road, north of Lybster, Caithness. The survey formed part of the Caithness Broch Festival Archaeology Programme, which aimed to provide the opportunity for the local community and visitors to the county to engage with their local archaeology, whilst conducting significant archaeological research. The results of the geophysical survey were to provide a basis for subsequent archaeological fieldwalking and test-pitting.
The main focus of this survey was an area around the Bruan Broch, covering both the Scheduled Area and beyond. It was hoped that any areas of archaeological interest outwith the Scheduled Area would provide a target for future trial-trenching and field-walking.
At Bruan c. 1ha of magnetometry survey was carried out around the broch, with subsequent targeted earth resistance survey over areas of potential archaeological interest. The magnetometry survey revealed the presence of several areas of archaeological interest, in particular possible settlement and buildings to the south of the broch. Several other possible structures were identified adjacent to this, which may be related. An area of increased magnetic response was revealed across the west area of the survey, while a cluster of features of possible archaeological origin were located c. 20m south of the A99 road. In the east of the survey area, the results showed less general enhancement, although a large anomaly may relate to the ditch around the broch. Rig and furrow cultivation remains were apparent here.
The targeted earth resistance survey results appeared to correlate with the magnetic survey showing the presence of a possible structure to the south of the broch. The results provided a sense of the landscape immediately around the broch and a series of targets for trial-trenching. <1>
Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.