MHG60799 - Grain Drying kiln - Fortrose and Rosemarkie Waste Water Works


No summary available.

Type and Period (2)

  • CORN DRYING KILN (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC) + Sci.Date
  • FIRE PIT (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC) + Sci.Date

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A desk-based assessment and archaeological watching brief was undertaken by Ross and Cromarty Archaeological Services (RoCAS) in 2012 at the site of the Fortrose and Rosemarkie Waste Water Works. Thirty-nine pit features were recorded and excavated during the fieldwork.
The largest pit revealed during the watching brief was a grain drying kiln/fire pit (F25). It measured 4m x 2.85m x 1.4m deep, and had steep sides on the northeast, southeast and southwest, but was shallower and scooped on the northwest. This shallow slope was interpreted as an access to the base of the pit, where a small fire-pit was located, as it appeared to be stepped to aid access.
The pit contained a complex sequence of fills and deposits, with evidence for burning at the base including reddened sand, large charcoal lumps and roundwood and fire-cracked stone.The upper fills of the pit were homogenous with some large stone clasts in the centre of the feature. Three backfilling events were identified, followed by a complex sequence of burning and slumping and silting events. The burning events contained charcoal and significant amounts of burnt grain including naked barley. Finds included a flint chip, flake and core, a quartz flake, unburnt daub retaining impressions of thick withies, sherds of possible Early-Middle Neolithic pottery, sherds of Beaker pottery and hazelnut shells. Charcoal of alder and hazel was present in many of the fills and 8 radiocarbon dates were obtained from these and from cereal grains. These all produced Bronze Age dates.
The amount of grain recovered from the pit strongly suggests that cereal processing was taking place within the pit. The grains may have been accidentally burned during the prior stages of drying, inferring that the pit was used as a grain-drying kiln.
See attached post-ex report for more detailed discussion of the feature and specialist reports and radiocarbon dates. <1> <2>

The excavation assemblage from the site was allocated by Treasure Trove (TT 186/14) to Cromarty Courthouse Museum. <3>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NH 7307 5710 (4m by 4m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH75NW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY

Finds (6)

  • CEREAL GRAIN (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • SHERD (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)
  • BEAKER (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • FLAKE (Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC? to 551 BC?)
  • CORE (Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC? to 551 BC?)
  • DAUB (Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC? to 551 BC?)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (1)

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