MHG58718 - Rockshelter with Midden - Toscaig 9


A rockshelter and midden were investigated during the Scotland's First Settlers Project.

Type and Period (3)

  • ROCK SHELTER (Early Medieval to 19th Century - 561 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • MIDDEN (Early Medieval - 561 AD? to 1057 AD?) + Sci.Date
  • OCCUPATION LAYER (Early Medieval to 19th Century - 561 AD? to 1900 AD?) + Sci.Date

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NG73NW 9 7095 3925, 7044 3975 and 7009 3896
The following sites were recorded between January and September 1999 as part of the Scotland's First Settlers Project. A full report has been lodged with the NMRS.
NG 7095 3925 Toscaig 6 Rock shelter. + (MHG35890)
NG 7044 3975 Toscaig 7 Rock shelter. (MHG58717)
NG 7009 3896 Toscaig 9 Rock shelter. + (this record)
Note: + = containing visible midden
B Finlayson, K Hardy and C Wickham-Jones 1999

A rockshelter and midden were investigated during the Scotland's First Settlers Project in 1999. The site comprised a large airy rockshelter which contained a modern hearth and camping remains that were visible on the surface of patchy moss and grass as was an extensive midden of limpets and periwinkles. An irregular line of boulders rans roughly below the drip line at the edge of the overhang and may have represented the remains of a sheltering wall.
Two test pits were dug, one within the shelter, which contained deep statigraphy and well preserved deposits, and the second outside the drip line and just outside the protective wall. There were seven pieces of baked mudstone, three regular flakes and four debitage, one sherd of clear iridescent glass, a plain annular ring of iron, 34 small fragments from a flat sheet mount of iron with decoration and riverts, three fragments of an unidentified flat sheet object, a single tack, five nail fragments and assemblages of bone and shell.
Three samples were taken from a thick occupation layer of laminated ash with shell which lay towards the base of this context. Samples of birch charcoal were also taken from the underlying context, the shell midden. Five radiocarbon dates were obtained and these suggest at least two periods of activity in the shelter, one in the late 1st-early 2nd millennium AD (AD 630-990; AD1030-1240) and the second sometime between the late 15th-early 17th centuries AD (AD 1380-1450; AD1460-1540; AD 1480-1650). The lithics were undiagnostic but the glass and much of the metalwork suggested a post-medieval date which would be in line with the more recent radiocarbon dates. <1>

See link below to the published Scottish Archaeological Internet Report 31 for further details and radiocarbon dates. See also link below to Scottish Radiocarbon Database.

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred NG 7009 3896 (60m by 60m)
Map sheet NG73NW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY

Finds (6)

  • FLAKE (Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC? to 551 BC?)
  • DEBITAGE (Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC? to 551 BC?)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Undated)
  • SHERD (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (4)

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