It remains one of the biggest archaeological mysteries: why do so many hillforts, particularly across Scotland, appear to have undergone a significant burning event that caused their stone walls to melt and ultimately fuse (see CA 133)? Was it done deliberately, either during an attack or as a ceremonial act, or was it accidental? One of these ‘vitrified’ forts, Dun Deardail in Glen Nevis, was recently excavated over the course of a three-year project funded by Forestry Commission Scotland and the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the Nevis Landscape Partnership. This Iron Age hillfort was built in the middle of the 1st millennium BC, around 2,500 years ago, and was eventually destroyed in a catastrophic fire. Now excavations have shed light on its construction, occupation, and destruction.
Excavations at Caochanan Ruadha, a previously identified Mesolithic site in the Cairngorm Mountains of the Scottish Highlands, have revealed evidence of a possible small structure surrounding a central hearth – an intriguing find, as the identification of Mesolithic buildings is quite rare. The dig was part of the first phase of the Upper Dee Tributaries Project (UDTP), through which an interdisciplinary team from institutions across the UK and Ireland is exploring the early prehistory of Mar Lodge Estate – owned and maintained by the National Trust for Scotland.
Perched on a peninsula in the heart of the Orkney archipelago, the Ness of Brodgar is a truly remarkable site. Long-running excavations there are bringing a wealth of discoveries to light, illuminating the life and death of a sophisticated Neolithic community (see CA 335).
Recent excavations in a field near the ruins of Deer Abbey in Aberdeenshire have provided the most compelling evidence so far for the remains of the monastery where the 10th-century Book of Deer may have been written and illuminated.
Excavation of Neolithic Kerb Cairns with prehistoric cremation burials on later multi settlement site up to the 13th & 14th centuries. All ages welcome to try their hand at excavation but all expenses to be paid by student/vistor alike. No disabled access.
Archaeologists from the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute, the University of Central Lancashire, School of Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage, Galicia, Spain and University of Cambridge, have now concluded that the structural remains are those of an Early Neolithic house (c.3400-3100BC) with associated occupation deposits, hearth and stone walls. You are […]
The Cairns, South Ronaldsay, Orkney is a research and training excavation based around a substantial multi-period settlement site. The main focus is a monumental Iron Age roundhouse or broch and its associated contemporary and later extramural buildings. Excavations have been running since 2006 producing a substantial architectural, artefactual and environmental resource. The main aims of […]
The work at Skaill aims to explore a slice of the remarkable deep time represented along the west shore; from the Neolithic, Iron Age, Pictish, Viking and Norse periods to the 19th century clearances. This season we are investigating the Viking / Norse farm mound below the 18th century farmstead. Visitors welcome! Why not visit […]
The Ness of Brodgar is an archaeological excavation covering an area of 2.5 hectares at the Heart of the Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site, in Scotland. It has revealed a well preserved and sophisticated complex of monumental stone buildings enclosed by walls that are 6 metres thick; built and occupied by people over 5,000 years […]
This season’s excavation will explore the 17th century designed landscape of Kinneil Park. The House was owned by the Dukes & Duchesses of Hamilton and was erected by the Earl of Arran in the 1560s. The grounds were laid out afresh in the 1690s and included a series of features, such as the walled garden, […]