MHG46076 - Cave and Midden - Meall Na H-airde


A cave and midden investigated by the Scotland's First Settlers Project.

Type and Period (2)

  • CAVE (Mesolithic to Late Iron Age - 8000 BC? to 560 AD?)
  • MIDDEN (Mesolithic to Late Iron Age - 8000 BC? to 560 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NMRS Report: (28/03/2003)
NG83NW 21 8269 3629

Recorded between May and September 2002 as part of the Scotland's First Settlers Project and the Sea Loch Survey.
NG 8269 3629 Meall-na-h-Airde 2 Old sea cave with extant midden deposits and lithics
NG 8269 3629 Meall-na-h-Airde 2. Test pit dug at rear of cave in an area of shell midden. Finds include a number of lithics.
Sponsors: HS, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, British Academy
K Hardy and C R Wickham-Jones 2002

This site investigated by the Scotland's First Settlers Project in 2002. It comprised a south-west-facing sea cave lying at the foot of old sea cliffs with a small area of midden lying at the rear of the cave. It is possible that this was all that remained of a larger midden that has been washed out. Three hearth sites lay inside the cave. A test pit was dug into the midden. There were 27 lithic finds: 23 of chalcedonic silica and four of quartz. Seven pieces were debitage, 18 were regular flakes, and there was one blade and one edge-retouched piece. 1 pottery sherd, a total of 100 bones, an assemblage of shell and charcoal were also found.
The lithics suggested activity in prehistory and the pottery may tentatively be assigned to the Iron Age. A lack of identifiable mammal bone, together with the small fish bone assemblage, suggested that the site was only used for limited fishing and shell-fish collection. The large sizes of fish caught would be consistent with either a prehistoric or a historic date. The large fish sizes of the gadid species suggest that deep-water fishing was used. <1>

See link below to the published Scottish Archaeological Internet Report 31 for further details.

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NG 8269 3629 (20m by 20m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG83NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (2)

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