MHG8165 - BA metalworking, Sittenham


No summary available.

Type and Period (2)

  • BUILDING (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • BRONZE WORKING SITE (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

"2 Bronze Spearhead moulds found here" on first ed OS - HAW 5/2004

NH67SE 1 6540 7417.
Two Bronze Spearhead Moulds found (NAT)
OS 6" map, Ross-shire, 2nd ed., (1907)

A Late Bronze Age smelting furnace, among debris of which were found "two beautifully formed sets of moulds for casting spearheads," was dug up by men trenching the moor in 1847. There is some doubt as to the precise location of this find. Maclean records, in 1886, that it was "about 150 yards SW of the cairn (NH67SE 15), but the ONB (1874), with Maclean as one of its authorities, states first that the find was made "a few chains S of the officehouses of Stittenham Farm" and then corrects entry to read that it was found "100 yards NE of the officehouses." Wilson adds that they were found at a depth of 16", and near them was exposed the remains of an enclosure or building of stone containing a bed of ashes and scoriae.
The moulds, which are for casting looped and socketed axes, are made of steatite, of which a vein exists on the banks of a burn passing Ardross Estate Office. One of them (see fig. 49) was donated to the NMAS in 1970 by Lady Isobel Hay, Peebles, while the other (see fig. 48) is in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Casts of both moulds, and of the axes from them, are also in the NMAS (Acc. Nos. CM 11-16).
D Wilson 1863; Name Book 1874; R Maclean 1886; H W M Hodges 1959; J M Coles 1962; NMAS 1971; Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1975.

Nothing seen at the findspot. Visited by OS (W D J) 8 May 1963.

(Stone moulds for socketed axes of Sompting type). Hoard.
1609. Mould, brownish-green steatite, very smooth, blackened in matrix, slightly damaged in antiquity; length of mould-halves 155mm, length of matrix 125mm, cutting edge 84mm. NMAS L.1964.a and b.
1610. Mould, length 155mm, length of matrix 115mm, cutting edge 89mm. NMAS CM 11-12.
P K Schmidt and C B Burgess 1981.

These two moulds were catalogued as part of the North Kessock & District Local History Society and Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands (ARCH) collaborative 'Feats of Clay' Project, which was focused on Bronze Age metalworking around the Moray Firth. They were assigned a Late Bronze Age date. <1>

Listed in the NMS catalogue is a cast of a socketed axehead from the steatite mould (Acc. No. CM 14) and a replica of the steatite mould (Acc. Nos. CM 53 and CM 54). <2>

One half of the mould is listed in the Ashmolean online collections catalogue under Acc. No. AN1927.2725. See link below. <3>

Sources/Archives (11)



Grid reference Centred NH 6539 7417 (30m by 30m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH67SE
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish ROSSKEEN

Finds (4)

  • MOULD (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • CAST (Modern - 1901 AD to 2100 AD)
  • MOULD (Modern - 1901 AD to 2100 AD)
  • MOULD (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (5)

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