MHG58041 - Circular Stone Structure - ARISAIG, MOINTEACH MHOR


Three circular stone features 2–3m in diameter and of uncertain function have been identified. Excavation of one of these features revealed evidence below of middle Bronze Age, early medieval and medieval activity which is not associated with the surface stone feature.

Type and Period (4)

  • STRUCTURE? (Post Medieval - 1560 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • OCCUPATION LAYER? (Middle Bronze Age - 1500 BC to 1251 BC)
  • PIT (Medieval - 1058 AD to 1559 AD)
  • PIT (Early Medieval - 561 AD to 1057 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Created automatically by NMRS Register Utility
User: Admin, Date: Wed 13 Oct 2004
NM69SE 36 6666 8898

NM 6639 8656 (Arisaig) to NM 6790 9194 (Kinsadel) Following field survey and test pitting (DES 2000, 47), evaluation work was undertaken on seven sites.
NM 6666 8898 Site 6 (stone structures). Three different structures were investigated, and subsequent area excavation revealed a relatively deep stratigraphic sequence beneath. A discrete lens of charcoal within this sequence yielded a calibrated date of AD 1418-88 (see radiocarbon report, 124).
Sponsor: Historic Scotland
S Halliday 2001

In work by Headland Archaeology in 2002, building on a DBA and Walkover Survey by CFA in advance of a proposed road corridor in 2000, three circular stones features were recorded (Sites 6a, 6b and 6d). These were 2-3m in diameter and of uncertain function. Evaluation trenches were cut across two of these features (6a and 6b) but no artefacts were retrieved. A thin lens of charcoal was encountered in the investigation of 6a, 0.25–0.35m below the ground surface; the charcoal deposit was apparently not associated with the stone structure seen on the surface. A sample was taken from the deposit for radiocarbon dating (AA-41068/GU-9251) and produced a 15th century AD date and, on the basis of this result, an excavation was carried out to
further investigate its context. <1> <2>

An ill defined pit and linear stone feature were discovered in the course of this investigation, both underlying the surface circular stone feature. Three more radiocarbon dates were obtained during the excavation. A middle Bronze Age date came from a basal deposit but the nature of the remains give no clues as to the nature of the activity at this time and it is not even certain that the dated feature is the product of human activity. The next evidence of activity in the area was dated to the ninth and tenth centuries AD. Again the evidence is limited, but a series of stratified features produced dates indicating that the site was in continuous use or repeatedly re-visited through the medieval period. The presence of oat grains in the medieval deposits suggests that food was prepared and consumed at the site but positive evidence for the reason behind this is not available. The deposition of a substantial volume of mineral sediment over the post-Bronze Age peat soil in the medieval period requires explanation and suggests that we may have dug through the highly dispersed remains of unsubstantial turf and timber structures, essentially a stack of turf shieling huts, spanning the medieval period. The line of stones could then be interpreted as a wall foundation. <1> <2>

See link below to online published report for radiocarbon dates.

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NM 6668 9000 (9m by 7m) (4 map features)
Map sheet NM69SE
Geographical Area LOCHABER

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (2)

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