MHG53526 - Occupation deposits and possible structural remains, Strathy East


Features including possible structural remains eroding out of an alluvial sand and gravel deposit. Finds of coarse pottery suggest that at least some of the remains could relate to Iron Age occupation.

Type and Period (2)

  • OCCUPATION LAYER (Early Iron Age to 19th Century - 550 BC? to 1900 AD?)
  • STRUCTURE? (Early Iron Age to 19th Century - 550 BC? to 1900 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Robert Mackay of the Strathy and Armadale Local Studies Group reported what appear to be occupation layers eroding out of an alluvial sand and gravel deposit. These were first identified when part of the slope was cut away in 2007 during preparations for the construction of an agricultural shed. Subsequent levelling of the site for construction works resulted in the exposure of layers of sand and alluvial deposits to a maximum height of 6 metres on the east and north sides of the site.
A layer of flat stones in the east face of the cut has the appearance of the floor of some kind of structure. A layer of apparent burnt material about 20cm thick lies above this. The burnt material contains fragments of charcoal and possibly evidence for smelting. A number of features are present in the north face of the excavated area which possibly represent the remains of post holes, consisting of upright stones with a dark material between them, as well as a small pit-like feature.
Pottery of possible Iron Age date (pers comm Paul Humphries of CAT) has been and continues to be recovered from the deposits. This includes rim and base sherds and three decorated pieces. The pottery is mostly coarse, but some finer pieces have been found with no inclusions. It is suggested that there could be three separate occupation layers represented in the eroding deposits. <1>

A large number of photographs of the site have been submitted by Mr Mackay, some of which show the site in relation to the floor slab for the agricultural building. The layers are said to be approximately 2 metres above the the floor level of the shed and are estimated to be a similar distance (1 to 2 metres) below the present ground level. <2>

The deposits and features described and photographed are not dissimilar to those identified during trial trenching on the site of a cemetery extension to the east and interpreted as post-medieval (see EHG1531). However, no comparable finds of coarse pottery were made during the trial excavations and the depth of the trenches did not extend below c.0.5m. <3>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NC 83766 65571 (100m by 100m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC86NW
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish FARR

Finds (1)

  • VESSEL (Iron Age - 550 BC? to 560 AD?)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (0)

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