Issue: A Later Prehistoric Settlement and Metalworking Site at Seafield West, near Inverness, Highland

Publication Type
Abstract Construction in 1996 at a major retail development site close to Inverness, Highland resulted in the destruction of two known cropmark sites. One set of cropmarks was found to be associated with a Bronze Age log-boat burial site and the results of the ensuing excavation are published elsewhere (Cressey & Sheridan 2003). The excavation of a second area of cropmarks forms the subject of this publication. The archaeological remains consisted of a series of negative features, post-holes and annular ditches which form parts of at least nine separate structures of a later prehistoric unenclosed settlement. A mould fragment indicated Late Bronze Age sword production in the vicinity. A palisaded enclosure produced a copper-alloy brooch that is a rare find for the region. Evidence of copper-alloy objects and metalworking from a smelting hearth and slags show that the occupants were of some status. Some of the structural and artefactual evidence compellingly points to an in situ ironworking workshop. A large cache of smithing charcoal found in association with a smelting hearth was radiocarbon dated to 180BC-AD70 and represents one of the few dated in situ Iron Age ironworking episodes in Scotland.
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Author Michael Cressey
Sue Anderson
Sue Anderson
Publisher Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
Year of Publication 2011
Volume 47
ISBN 0 903903 52 3
Source DigitalBorn
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Abstract
1 - 44
Construction in 1996 at a major retail development site close to Inverness, Highland resulted in the destruction of two known cropmark sites. One set of cropmarks was found to be associated with a Bronze Age log-boat burial site and the results of the ensuing excavation are published elsewhere (Cressey & Sheridan 2003). The excavation of a second area of cropmarks forms the subject of this publication. The archaeological remains consisted of a series of negative features, post-holes and annular ditches which form parts of at least nine separate structures of a later prehistoric unenclosed settlement. A mould fragment indicated Late Bronze Age sword production in the vicinity. A palisaded enclosure produced a copper-alloy brooch that is a rare find for the region. Evidence of copper-alloy objects and metalworking from a smelting hearth and slags show that the occupants were of some status. Some of the structural and artefactual evidence compellingly points to an in situ ironworking workshop. A large cache of smithing charcoal found in association with a smelting hearth was radiocarbon dated to 180BC'“AD70 and represents one of the few dated in situ Iron Age ironworking episodes in Scotland.
1
Construction in 1996 at a major retail development site close to Inverness, Highland resulted in the destruction of two known cropmark sites. One set of cropmarks was found to be associated with a Bronze Age log-boat burial site and the results of the ensuing excavation are published elsewhere (Cressey & Sheridan 2003). The excavation of a second area of cropmarks forms the subject of this publication. The archaeological remains consisted of a series of negative features, post-holes and annular ditches which form parts of at least nine separate structures of a later prehistoric unenclosed settlement. A mould fragment indicated Late Bronze Age sword production in the vicinity. A palisaded enclosure produced a copper-alloy brooch that is a rare find for the region. Evidence of copper-alloy objects and metalworking from a smelting hearth and slags show that the occupants were of some status. Some of the structural and artefactual evidence compellingly points to an in situ ironworking workshop. A large cache of smithing charcoal found in association with a smelting hearth was radiocarbon dated to 180BC-AD70 and represents one of the few dated in situ Iron Age ironworking episodes in Scotland.
2 - 5
This chapter provides information on site location, previous work, methodology and objectives.
6 - 14
This chapter presents archaeological descriptions of several structures including a ring-groove structure, a double post-ring structure, possible rectilinear post-built structures and a smithing hearth. Possible interpretations and the significance of the features are discussed.
Melanie Johnson
15
Melanie Johnson
Ann Clarke
Andrew Heald
Gerry McDonnell
Ian Mack
Fraser Hunter
Katherine Emerin
15 - 27
This chapter comprises specialist reports on pottery, fired clay (including Bronze Age sword moulds and XRF analysis of moulds), ironworking debris, quern stones, beads and Roman brooches with a section on the distribution of Roman items in the Moray Firth.
Ann Clarke
15 - 17
Andrew Heald
Gerry McDonnell
Ian Mack
17 - 20
Trevor G Cowie
Katherine Eremin
24 - 27
Fraser Hunter
27
Sue Anderson
28
Sue Anderson
Ruth Pelling
Michael Cressey
28 - 34
This chapter comprises specialist reports on animal bone, charred plant remains, charcoal and radiocarbon dates. The earliest date is from the context containing the sword blade and the remaining four are Iron Age.
Ruth Pelling
28 - 32
Michael Cressey
32 - 33
35 - 37
The density of archaeological features was far greater than suggested by cropmark evidence and geological survey. Metalworking activity appears to have been undertaken during both the late Bronze Age and the late Iron Age though there is insufficient evidence to suggest continuity of settlement.
38
39 - 41
42 - 44
42 - 43
A list of all known Roman finds from the Moray Firth.
44
44