MHG37252 - Rock Shelters and Midden - Allt na Criche


Multiple rockshelters with midden. Iron Age and medieval to post-medieval radiocarbon dates from secure contexts have been obtained from this site. The local topography means that this site afforded considerable protection from the elements and these rock shelter would have been attractive in earlier times too.

Type and Period (2)

  • ROCK SHELTER (Mesolithic to 19th Century - 8000 BC? to 1900 AD)
  • MIDDEN (Mesolithic to 19th Century - 8000 BC? to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

An extensive area of sandstone gullies, platforms and rockshelters were investigated by the Scotaland's First Settlers Project in 2000, situated just over 1km north of Sand at a height of at least 30m OD. A minimum of five small shelters was recorded, with varied aspects but spatially close together. A Shell midden and lithics were visible on the surface at two of the shelters. Three test pits were excavated here in the two overhangs and on an open terrace. 59 lithics, 1 coarse stone tool, 2 bone tools, a possible buckle or brooch pin of copper alloy, animal bones and shell were found in test pits 1 and 2.
Three radiocarbon determinations were obtained from this site from hazelnut shells. One came from Test Pit 1 and was securely stratified within context 6814 which was a layer of periwinkles in a black peaty matrix (AA-50687: 210BC–10AD). The two others came from Test Pit 2, both from context 6823, a layer of black silty sand underlying shell midden (AA-50685: 180BC–30AD and AA-50686: 1470–1640AD)
The lithics are undiagnostic, the coarse stone might be later prehistoric and the metalwork suggests activity between the Early Historic and the post-medieval periods. The radiocarbon determinations support activity in the Early Historic period, with some separate later activity. The local topography means that this site affords considerable protection from the elements and this is likely to have been so in early as well as in more recent times. <1>

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred NG 6827 5037 (20m by 20m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet NG65SE
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (2)

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