MHG53780 - Shell midden, Cuthill Sands


Eroding shell midden noted during coastal survey.

Type and Period (1)

  • SHELL MIDDEN (Mesolithic to 19th Century - 8000 BC? to 1900 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Eroding shell midden visible on low cliff face. Present beneath c. 0.15 to 0.2 m of topsoil and spread over c 17 m of the section. Up to 0.2 m deep consisting of dense cockle and mussel shells in a dark sandy soil. <1>

The Dornoch Firth Archaeological Society surveyed part of the intertidal zone of the shore of the Dornoch Firth in 2007. This site was first noted during a survey of the nearby Second World War defences. Pete Higgins of Archaeology North Ltd provided this information along with photographs of the site. One of the photographs shows a section through the midden with labelled contexts as follows:
1 Topsoil and grass roots
2 Sandy subsoil, possibly deliberately laid as part of the golf course
3 Sandy subsoil with leachate from context 2
4 Sand with broken cockle shell
5 Charcoal with fine shell fragments
6 Sand with both fine shell fragments and large fragments of cockle shell, some intact
7 Yellow brown sand with very rare shell fragments
8 Charcoal with shell fragments <2>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference NH 7870 8833 (point) (GPS derived)
Map sheet NH78NE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (0)

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