MHG59429 - Pit Cluster - Ness Gap, Fortrose


A small cluster of pits, possibly representing a small circular structure, discovered during a watching brief.

Type and Period (2)

  • PIT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)
  • (Alternate Type) STRUCTURE? (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A small cluster of pits were discovered during a watching brief of topsoil stripping by Headland Archaeology in October 2014. They were approximately 50m north-east of several urned and unurned cremation burials (see MHG54308) and located amongst a concentration of probable modern pits from which they were distinct in both form and content. All three were subcircular and measured between 0.6-0.8m in diameter and 0.2–0.3m deep. The fills of two pits contained lithics, fragments of coarseware, charred nutshell, burnt bone and charcoal. The third pit had been disturbed by animal activity and contained only a few specks of charcoal. It is suggested that these three features may be the fragmentary remains of a small circular structure, although there is at present no further evidence to support this. <1>

A final report was published in 2020. This included post-excavation and radiocarbon dating results. The pits represent the remains of nearby early to middle Neolithic domestic activity containing: pottery, flint debitage, charcoal and charred hazelnut shells. Nine sherds of early to middle Neolithic Carinated Bowl were found, representing three vessels, and a radiocarbon date of 3700–3530 cal BC (95.4% probability; SUERC-64616) was obtained from from a hazelnut shell. A microburin was also recovered from one of the pits. The report is available online. <2>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NH 7341 5650 (6m by 2m)
Map sheet NH75NW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY

Finds (3)

  • CARINATED BOWL (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)
  • DEBITAGE (Bronze Age - 2400 BC? to 551 BC?)
  • MICROBURIN (Mesolithic - 8000 BC to 4001 BC)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (1)

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