MHG40182 - Cremation burial - Allanfearn


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • CREMATION (Bronze Age - 2400 BC? to 551 BC?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A geophysical survey was carried out by GUARD in 1993 in advance of a proposed new sewage treatment plant at Allanfearn to the northeast of Inverness. Part of the survey area included a group of scheduled barrows known only as cropmarks. In the south end of field 1, and south of the Scheduled area, a patch of faint high readings (marked as 'B') was recorded. However, in this area the readings were being affected by overhead electricity cables. <1>

An excavation by GUARD in 1995-6 prior to the construction of a new sewage treatment works at Allanfearn to the northeast of Inverness revealed a series of enigmatic deposits. Trench B was located slightly downslope from trench A and was placed over another localised geophysical anomaly although not as strong as anomaly A. The trench was originally opened to a size of 10m x 10m. Excavation revealed a curving slight bank of stones and gravel which crossed the trench from the east corner to the south-west side and defined a change in the natural orange gravel and shingle exposed within the trench. A dark silt deposit covered the south-west side of the trench. A sub-circular concentration of burnt bone was located in the western quadrant of the trench. Due to the delicate condition of the bone this was excavated during trial-trenching and was found to be contained in a highly degraded cremation urn within a small pit. The urn had been poorly fired and no base remained. The pottery and bone await specialist analysis but probably date from the Bronze Age. The results of the trial trenching suggested that the stone kerb may have defined the edge of a cremation cemetery of which the burial recovered was a satellite. Trench B was subsequently extended on all four sides to a full size of 22m x 20m. No further cremations were exposed and the slight banking did not appear to extend any further in either direction but petered out to the east and disappeared into the dark spread to the south-west. The stone kerb was probably just a natural line of stones and gravel. <2>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NH 7124 4746 (6m by 6m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH74NW
Geographical Area INVERNESS

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Related Investigations/Events (2)

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