MHG40183 - Possible structure and occupation evidence - Allanfearn


No summary available.

Type and Period (4)

  • OCCUPATION SITE (Early Bronze Age to Late Iron Age - 2400 BC? to 560 AD?)
  • POST HOLE (Early Bronze Age to Late Iron Age - 2400 BC? to 560 AD?)
  • PIT (Early Bronze Age to Late Iron Age - 2400 BC? to 560 AD?)
  • STRUCTURE? (Early Bronze Age to Late Iron Age - 2400 BC? to 560 AD?)

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. This proved to be the remains of a probable Brionze Age cremation (see MHG40182 for detail). 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 a natural line of stones and gravel. The dark spread filled a natural hollow in the underlying gravel and was overlain by topsoil which reached a depth of lm. The hollow had therefore not been visible on the surface. The spread was of a dark grey/black silty sand and gravel and contained charcoal lumps. It was only partially exposed but measured 8.20m along the north-east baulk and extended into the trench for 6m. It had a maximum depth of 0.40m and contained a single lithic and a fragment of furnace structure (sf AAZ, ABL). A few isolated pits were contained within the trench. Two narrow linear features in the northern corner appeared to be plough marks. They followed the same orientation as a large pit, the full dimensions of which were not recorded since it was only partially contained within the trench. As exposed it had dimensions of 4m x 1.5m and a depth of 0.24m. The pit was sub-oval and contained greyish-brown silt and gravel. Two small features possibly pits or postholes were contained in the western corner of the trench. Both were sub-circular with a diameter of 0.40m and depths of 0.12m and 0.10m respectively. The fills were of brownish-black gravel and silty sand with one containing possible packing stones. The large dark spread, while containing cultural material, appeared naturally deposited within a depression in the gravels. No clear function for the isolated pits could be identified from their nature and fills, although two were possibly postholes. <2>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NH 7124 4746 (16m by 16m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH74NW
Geographical Area INVERNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (2)

External Links (1)

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