MHG60078 - Fieldwalking Material - Field 13, Castletown


Various finds were recovered from fieldwalking during the Caithness Fieldwalking Project.

Type and Period (2)

  • FINDSPOT (Undated)
  • LITHIC SCATTER? (Mesolithic - 8000 BC? to 4001 BC?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Fourteen fields were walked in March and April 2004, primarily to the SE of Castletown, along the B876, as part of the Caithness Fieldwalking Project. Field 13 produced material including modern pottery, prehistoric pottery, flint and glass. Since the field was relatively devoid of 'modern' material, compared with the neighbouring fields, this suggested that this area had not been subject to the same system of midden spreading seen elsewhere in the landscape. The identification of a single piece of prehistoric pottery was unusual in the Caithness context and was the first piece to have been collected as part of the wider fieldwalking project. It was a small, abraded piece of coarse pottery with a reddish outer surface and a black inner surface. No decoration was immediately apparent on the outer surface.
The distribution of flint increased notably towards the northern end of the field where two clusters were identified. These comprised predominantly blade dominated debitage, suggesting that they may have related to Mesolithic activity. The recovery of a blade core and a microlith from one cluster further indicated a Mesolithic date for the material. One cluster was around 25m in diameter and occupied the edge of one of the undulations at the northern end of the field (recorded at ND 21622 65916) and the other was located at the base of this undulation (recorded at ND 21642 65919), around 14m to the north of first and may in fact represent the movement of material down the slope from the larger cluster. <1>

The grid references given for fields 13 and 14 in the 2004 report appear to be the wrong way around. GW 09/04/2019

GIS data created 2019 based on OS Master Map and description from the 2004 interim report. <2>

The fieldwalking assemblage from the Caithness Fieldwalking Project was submitted to Treasure Trove (TT 64-69/08) and allocated to Dunbeath Heritage Centre. This included at least the blade core and microlith from this site. <3> <4>

Further analysis of the finds from the Caithness Field Walking Project is expected in a forthcoming monograph on work in the Yarrows basin.

Sources/Archives (4)



Grid reference Centred ND 2160 6599 (430m by 402m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND26NW
Civil Parish OLRIG
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (4)

  • DEBITAGE (Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC? to 551 BC?)
  • DEBITAGE (Mesolithic - 8000 BC? to 4001 BC?)
  • MICROLITH (Mesolithic - 8000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • BLADE CORE (Mesolithic - 8000 BC to 4001 BC)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (1)

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