MHG54504 - Neolithic occupation - Slackbuie Way, Inverness


An evaluation and subsequent excavation in 2009 along the proposed line of the Inverness Flood Relief scheme south of Inverness at Slackbuie produced evidence of neolithic occupation.

Type and Period (4)

  • FINDSPOT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC?)
  • PIT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC?) + Sci.Date
  • PLOUGH MARKS (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC?)
  • POST HOLE (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC?) + Sci.Date

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

An evaluation in 2009 by GUARD along the proposed line of the Inverness Flood Relief scheme south of Inverness at Slackbuie produced sparse evidence of possibly later prehistoric occupation. The work covered a linear route from Essich Road (NH 656 414) to Culduthel Road (NH 668 414) in the west and an area of land at Slackbuie in the east. A total of 40 trenches were opened, two of which revealed deposits of an archaeological nature. In trench 7 a possible old topsoil deposit covered by hillwash was identified.

Following the evaluation an area around trench 7 was subsequently opened up by GUARD for excavation. In this area, designated Trench 2, several postholes and pits mostly cut into the subsoil along the edge of an old, and dry, watercourse were exposed and excavated. In addition small spreads of charcoal and small pits interpreted as hearths were also found. Two large pits (2099 and 2015) contained charcoal-rich material suggesting in-situ burning though not at great temperature as there was no evidence for scorching on the subsoil. In addition a number of ploughmarks were also found below the old topsoil. The features remained undated due to the lack of finds but a later prehistoric date was inferred. A single fragment of probable late Bronze Age to early Iron Age pottery together with worked flint fragments were found. <1>

The findings of the evaluation and excavation phases were also included and discussed in a subsequent report on a watching brief also carried out by GUARD in 2010. <2>

Post-excavation work, including the obtaining of radiocarbon dates and environmental sample analysis has further refined the dating of the features found in the excavation area Trench 2. The largest of the pits, 2099, returned a radio-carbon date of 2490-2220 cal BC (late neolithic) while willow and hazel charcoal from a linear feature produced a date of 3250-3100 cal BC (early neolithic), both calibrated to 2 sigma. The latter may have represented the remains of a wattle structure, possibly a windbreak rather than something more substantial. Environmental finds generally included cereal grains, hazelnut shells and hazel and alder charcoal. The ploughmarks may have been contemporary with the putative wattle panelling. <3>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NH 66090 41419 (41m by 21m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH64SE
Geographical Area INVERNESS

Finds (1)


Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (2)

External Links (1)

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