MHG29877 - Norse Settlement - Sangobeg Sands


A probable Norse Settlement discovered in 1998 during the North Sutherland Coastal Zone Assessment Survey.

Type and Period (2)

  • MIDDEN (CULTURE 800; CULTURE 1300; , Norse - 800 AD to 1300 AD)
  • SETTLEMENT (Norse - 800 AD to 1300 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

This site was first reported during the 'Sutherland Coastal Zone Assessment', directed by Christopher D Morris in 1997. The survey was carried out by HS as part of their on-going response to the threat posed to Scotland's archaeology. At the edge of the turf-covered dunes at the landward edge of Sandobeg Sands are the remnants of a badly eroded site. The site consists of midden deposits and on the west side and at the rear of the dune, is a large quantity of stone, some set one on top of the other and clearly represents structural remains. The midden was investigated and several lumps of vitrified fuel ash with fragments of fish and mammel bone was retrieved. Other finds included - an iron rivet-plate, an iron rivet, a sherd of grass-tempered pottery and a complete, perforated black, glass-paste bead. It has been suggested that the artefactual assemblage is readily comparable to excavated Late Norse sites in Caithness, eg; Freswick Links. A salvage excavation has been proposed by Kevin Brady, Glasgow University.
See assoc. docs. File.
J Aitken : 24/04/01.

Salvage excavation was carried out on an archaeological site, discovered during the North Sutherland Coastal Zone Assessment Survey in 1998, in dunes at Sangobeg, near Durness in northern Sutherland. The excavation, conducted in 2000, uncovered the fragmentary remains of probable Norse-period settlement, including stone walling, a hearth and occupation deposits that had been truncated by erosion. Sealed beneath the Norse-period remains was the burial of a child radiocarbon dated to 170 cal BC–cal AD 30 (calibrated to 2 sigma) (see MHG61913). <1>

See link below for published article.

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred NC 4278 6632 (66m by 67m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet NC46NW
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish DURNESS

Finds (2)

  • VESSEL (Undated)
  • BEAD (Undated)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (2)

External Links (1)

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