MHG36899 - Prehistoric occupation remains - Castle Hill, Inverness


Prehistoric occupation remains on a dry knoll, including a possible structure, storage pits and possible timber boundaries. Both artefactual and radiocarbon dating point to this habitation having occurred in the Neolithic period, specifically the latter half of the 4th millennium BC.

Type and Period (8)

  • STORAGE PIT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC) + Sci.Date
  • POST HOLE (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC) + Sci.Date
  • STRUCTURE? (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)
  • HEARTH (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)
  • PALISADE? (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)
  • BOUNDARY FENCE? (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)
  • DRAIN (19th Century to 20th Century - 1801 AD to 2000 AD)
  • IN SITU BURNT DEPOSIT (Neolithic to 19th Century - 4000 BC to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

In spring 2000 an archaeological evaluation by trial trenching was undertaken, followed by full excavation, of a small area at Castlehill, bu SUAT prior to a housing development. Features relating to prehistoric and modern (18th to 20th century) occupation were identified. These included post-holes, pits (possibly for storage) and areas of burning. The first stage of evaluation involved the trial trenching of a 2% sample (c 550m2) of the development area. The only archaeological features located, other than field drains and modern disturbance, lay in the NW corner of the site. One was a post-hole, while the other was a small pit, which produced one sherd of possible Iron Age pottery. A wider area was opened up around these features, leading to the discovery of an irregular shallow scoop, which produced a sherd of probable Neolithic pottery and two fragments of possible pitchstone, and a small pit.

Full excavation was carried out in the area (c 50 x 20m) surrounding the above-noted features, which lay on the top of a distinct knoll in the SW corner of the development. In total, c 25 small post-holes and pits were identified. A concentration of cut features, perhaps representing a discrete zone of activity, was located around the previously encountered pits. There may have been a temporary structure in this location, perhaps centred on a possible hearth pit and various storage pits. The location of various post-holes suggested one or two palisade boundaries. Radiocarbon dates from two features suggest a date range in the latter half of the 4th millennium BC (calibrated). Features, including a pig burial and a drainage cut, demonstrated the use of this field in recent times (19th/20th century) for farming, and suggested the importance of drainage in the area. Sponsor: Tulloch Homes Ltd. <1> <2>

The excavation assemblage was submitted to Treasure Trove (TT 21/06) and allocated to Inverness Museum. See attached TT report. <3> <4>

Sources/Archives (4)



Grid reference Centred NH 69720 44092 (52m by 41m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH64SE
Geographical Area INVERNESS

Finds (3)

  • BOWL (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)
  • VESSEL (Early Iron Age - 550 BC to 1 AD)
  • PLANT MACRO REMAINS (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC) + Sci.Date

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (2)

External Links (1)

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