MHG58708 - Midden - Meallabhan


An eroding dune, with midden and occupation material was investigated by the Scotland's First Settlers Project.

Type and Period (2)

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

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NG64NE 7 centred 6845 4856
The following sites were recorded between October 1999 and May 2000 as part of the Scotland's First Settlers Project (DES 1999, 49-50):
NG 6845 4856 An Cruinn-leum 1 Rockshelter. > (MHG37245)
NG 6844 4855 An Cruinn-leum 2 Rockshelter. > (MHG37245)
NG 6848 4878 Meallabhan (Sand) Open midden. * (this record)
NG 6835 4863 Sand 5 Rockshelter. * (MHG58710)
Notes: + = containing visible midden.
* = test-pitted sites.
> = sites considered inappropriate for test pitting.
A full report has been lodged with the NMRS.
K Hardy and C Wickham-Jones 2000

An eroding dune was investigated by the Scotland's First Settlers Project in 2000. A scatter of shells, bones, pot-boilers, metalwork and occasional lithics denote an eroding lens of occupational material from a presumably buried site below the cliffs. One test pit was excavated.
24 lithics were recovered from the site and with the exception of one piece of debitage from Test Pit 1, all came from the surface. Most are of chalcedonic silica, but there were also two pieces of baked mudstone and one piece of quartz. 50% of the assemblage is debitage, but there a were seven regular flakes and four retouched pieces. 1 small bevel-ended tool of coarse stone, similar to a limpet scoop was also found, in addition to an assemblage of 92 sherds and fragments of coarse pottery, a stick pin of copper-alloy with ring and-dot decoration on the head possibly inlaid, fragments of a copper vessel with an iron handle rivet, several fragments of iron objects, unclassified ironworking slag and an assemblage of bone and shell. Most of the material was found on the surface of the site, or in the surface midden.
Meallabhan is an interesting site with a long history of activity, and considerable evidence of metal and metalworking. The lithics were not culturally diagnostic and it is possible that the later use of stone tools is represented. Some of the pottery may be medieval in date. Much of the metal was likely to be post medieval in date, particularly the iron work, though some pieces may be earlier. The stickpin is of possible Norse date. The vessel fragment came from a copper-alloy vessel, probably a small bowl or dish with iron suspension handles. The alloy composition (with its zinc content) indicated a Roman or later date, and such vessels are known from the Early Historic and medieval periods (for example Hunter 1994, 57–62). <1>

See link below to the published Scottish Archaeological Internet Report 31 for further details.

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred NG 6848 4878 (40m by 40m)
Map sheet NG64NE
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (2)

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