MHG57677 - Occupation site and possible boundary ditches - Allanfearn


No summary available.

Type and Period (3)

  • OCCUPATION SITE (Neolithic to Late Iron Age - 4000 BC? to 560 AD?)
  • BOUNDARY DITCH? (Neolithic to Late Iron Age - 4000 BC? to 560 AD?)
  • (Alternate Type) DRAINAGE DITCH? (Neolithic to Late Iron Age - 4000 BC? to 560 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A geophysical survey was carried out by GUARD in 1993 in advance of a proposed new sewage treatment plant at Allanfearn to the northeast of Inverness. Part of the survey area included a group of scheduled barrows known only as cropmarks. In field 2, south of the Scheduled area, a sub circular anomaly (L) was recorded. This may have represented an enclosure, However, its position on the slope left open the possibility that it was a natural phenomenon. <1>

An excavation by GUARD in 1995-6 prior to the construction of a new sewage treatment works at Allanfearn to the northeast of Inverness revealed a series of enigmatic deposits. A trench measuring 20m x 18m was topsoil stripped over the location of anomaly 'L' from the previous geophysical survey revealing a sub-oval clay surface. The trench was later extended by a 5m strip along the southwest baulk increasing the trench size to 23m x 20m. A double ditch was exposed on the south side of the trench which curved around the central clay spread and joined together to form a single ditch. The clay spread was found to be natural and had been cut away to the south by the ditches. A section dug at the point where the two ditches join indicated that the more northerly ditch had been dug later and intersected the other ditch. Another section dug further northwest confirmed the line of the single ditch as it continued in that direction. The ditches were probably dug as land or field divisions or possibly for drainage since the double ditch ran downslope towards the burn. Two large pits were also present within the trench. The pit located against the northwest baulk was semi-circular in plan as exposed within the trench. The cut had a gently rounded profile and measured 2m x 1.5m x 0.35m. It was filled with a single dark brown silt and sand containing large amounts of charcoal and including a dump of sea-shells. The large quantity of charcoal and the shell-dump suggest that this pit was dug to dispose of domestic debris. <2>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NH 7118 4739 (24m by 24m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH74NW
Geographical Area INVERNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (2)

External Links (1)

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