MHG54230 - Prehistoric hearths and ditches - Milton of Leys


A number of recessed hearths, together with linear features, of prehistoric date, recorded during archaeological evaluation at Milton of Leys.

Type and Period (1)

  • SETTLEMENT? (Neolithic - 4000 BC? to 2401 BC?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A number of features were identified during initial trial trenching at Milton of Leys. The remains of a hearth/pit, a possible unexcavated second hearth and three other possible features were recorded. <1>

Further investigation of the features identified in Trench 55, during the initial evaluation was carried out in 2000. The remains of three hearths were identified and fifteen sherds of prehistoric pottery, later determined to be Neolithic, were retrieved from pits. The majority of features were concentrated in the south of the trench and it was interesting to note that where the subsoil became more stony, there was an absence of features or deposits. It is also interesting that the majority of features were located towards the south end of the trench, which is the closest part of the trench to an area of hut-circles. It is, therefore, possible that these pits and hearths were associated with the prehistoric settlement further to the south. It is unclear whether the full extent of these features was exposed, but in the confines of this evaluation, their presence is a clear indication of prehistoric activity in this area. A linear feature of possible prehistoric origin was also identified, cut by later agricultural ditches. <2>

The results of the evaluation indicate that the cluster of features is confined to an area to the S of the access road for the Milton of Leys. Only two additional features of possible archaeological significance were identified. A continuation of the possibly prehistoric linear feature was identified, although no dateable evidence was recovered from it. A shallow scoop was very similar in character to the discrete features excavated previously, and may, therefore, also be prehistoric. <3>

Radiocarbon dates from samples taken during the excavations in 2000 were obtained and were published in 2003. All four dates, one from the hearth and three from pits, were Neolithic. <4>

Sources/Archives (4)



Grid reference Centred NH 6981 4168 (105m by 95m)
Map sheet NH64SE
Geographical Area INVERNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (3)

External Links (2)

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