EHG817 - Robert's Haven, Caithness



University of Glasgow


May-June 1992


Robert's Haven, Caithness, Scotland lies in a small bay facing north-west onto the Pentland Firth where the sea has exposed and continues to erode extensive midden deposits and structural remains contained within a calcareous dune system. The midden deposits are dated to the 12th-17th ceturies AD, the zooarchaeological analysis has established that the dominant bone material in many stratigraphic units is from fish. This observation has raised questions about the importance of marine resources in the economy of both the Robert's Haven site and the medieval joint earldoms of Caithness and Orkney as a whole. In 1992 and 1993 an archaeological sampling programme was implemented to investigate the physical character and socioeconomic implications of cultural deposits at Robert's Haven. Representative soil micromorphology samples were collected as an integral component of the project to provide a preliminary assessment of three inter-related issues. First, it was hoped that study of spatial variability in sediment composition might reveal whether fish middens were simply activity areas within a broader economic unit such as a household or farm. Second, it was envisioned that analysis of pedofeatures within the deposits might establish whether the middens developed through sporadic or continuous deposition. Third, analysis of pedofeatures might also cast light on the rate at which the middens formed. <1>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred ND 339e 9736 (165m by 59m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND39NW
Civil Parish CANISBAY
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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Record last edited

Feb 5 2019 1:13PM

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