Location: Swartigill, Thrumster near Wick, Caithness
Dates: 23 April - 1 May 2017
Age: Children accompanied by an adult welcome
Training / Experience: No experience required
Accommodation: None provided
Swartigill pot sherd
The Swartigill site was identified in a survey carried out in 2004, as some stonework eroding out of the bank of the burn of Swartigill. Initially thought to be a mill serving two post-medieval farmsteads nearby. The Yarrows Heritage Trust cleaned back a section of the stonework, and began to find large quantities of early to late Iron Age ceramics.
A couple of small trenches were dug to identify anomalies identified by geophysics in 2015. The site appears extensive but its purpose is as yet unclear. Large assemblages of decorated pottery, stone tools, quern stones and a small copper alloy decorative item were recovered from a very restricted first exploratory dig. It appears to have been occupied in the period before and leading up to the appearance of the broch towers, of which there are several in the area. Our aim this year is to define the character of the settlement and explore its relation to other Iron Age remains in the Yarrows landscape.