MHG40184 - Prehistoric occupation - Allanfearn


No summary available.

Type and Period (2)

  • PIT (Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC? to 551 BC?)
  • OCCUPATION SITE (Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 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 just south of the Scheduled area, a cluster of low readings surrounded by higher readings (marked as 'E') was recorded. <1>

Trial trenching and 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 E (sited over the cluster of low readings at 'E' noted in the previous geophysical survey) was originally opened to a size of 15m x 15m. The anomaly appeared mainly to be the result of geological changes since it was placed at the point of transition from sand and silt to gravel. However a large pit was located at the south side of the trench and a concentration of charcoal was found within a dark spread in the north-west corner of the trench. The trench was located immediately south of the scheduled area on the sloping hillside. The north-west corner was subsequently extended by 9m x 6m to expose as fully as possible the dark deposit in that corner. It extended into the scheduled area so could not be fully exposed. The spread was found to be a natural darkening of the gravels. The charcoal concentration was an isolated occurrence within a small sub-circular cut. Two lithics were recovered from this end of the trench. The large pit was orientated north-south and measured 4.80m x 1.90m at its widest point although the width varied and became wider to the south where the cut also deepened to 0.42m. Two fills were present. The outer fill appeared to represent a mixture of the natural soils and the main silt fill caused by animals and possibly by weathering if it had been left lying open. The main fill appeared to have been backfilled since it contained lumps of the natural clay probably dug out of the feature itself. No indication of a purpose in digging the pit was indicated by its form or fills. The pit and charcoal concentrations were both isolated features. The purpose of the pit was unclear although it appeared to have been backfilled and may have been left open for a short period before being filled in. The charcoal concentration may have represented the buried remains of a small fire. No other features were contained within the trench. <2>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NH 7129 4749 (20m by 20m) (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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