Issue: Excavation of post-built roundhouses and a circular ditched enclosure at Kiltaraglen, Portree, Isle of Skye 2006-07

Publication Type
Abstract This report details the archaeological remains recorded by CFA Archaeology Ltd during a programme of fieldwork at Kiltaraglen, now a residential housing development on a prominent, elevated site at the northern edge of Portree on the Isle of Skye. The fieldwork ran from September 2006 until March 2007. The project resulted in the discovery and excavation of varied archaeological remains including timber roundhouses, a circular ditch-defined enclosure, post-alignments and settings, miniature souterrains, probable standing stone sockets and an assortment of pits. An assemblage of Beaker pottery was recovered from two pits but the site was generally artefact-poor and reliance was placed on radiocarbon dating that indicates occupation of the site began in the Early Bronze Age and ended in the medieval period, with most activity occurring during the Later Bronze Age. This is of great interest as archaeological remains dating to the Later Bronze Age on the Isle of Skye have previously been notable only by their absence.
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Author Ian Suddaby
Issue Editor Helen Bleck
Publisher Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
Historic Scotland
Archaeology Data Service
Year of Publication 2013
Volume 54
Source DigitalBorn
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Abstract
1
This report details the archaeological remains recorded by CFA Archaeology Ltd during a programme of fieldwork at Kiltaraglen, now a residential housing development on a prominent, elevated site at the northern edge of Portree on the Isle of Skye. The fieldwork ran from September 2006 until March 2007. The project resulted in the discovery and excavation of varied archaeological remains including timber roundhouses, a circular ditch-defined enclosure, post-alignments and settings, miniature souterrains, probable standing stone sockets and an assortment of pits. An assemblage of Beaker pottery was recovered from two pits but the site was generally artefact-poor and reliance was placed on radiocarbon dating that indicates occupation of the site began in the Early Bronze Age and ended in the medieval period, with most activity occurring during the Later Bronze Age. This is of great interest as archaeological remains dating to the Later Bronze Age on the Isle of Skye have previously been notable only by their absence.
2 - 6
A programme of archaeological evaluation and excavation took place in advance of the construction of a housing development. Site location, topography and geology are described along with a summary of the archaeological sites in the surrounding area.
7
A summary of the archaeological methodology.
8 - 34
A detailed archaeological description with accompanying illustrations. Excavation identified 270 features and although some were revealed to be agricultural in origin, many formed coherent sites. They included a circular ditched enclosure with later Bronze Age/Iron Age features; two late Bronze Age unenclosed post-built round houses, one with a ring ditch structure within it; three post-alignments and a ditch enclosing a post-setting; two features characteristic of mini souterrains, pits containing ferrous metalworking debris and pits containing Beaker pottery.
Melanie Johnson
Torben Bjarke Ballin
Adam Jackson
Dawn McLaren
Nicholas M McQ Holmes
Sue Anderson
35 - 48
This chapter contains specialist reports on prehistoric pottery, lithics, coarse stone, slag and vitrified material, a late medieval coin and post-medieval finds.
Mhairi Hastie
Sue Anderson
Michael Cressey
Robert McCulloch
Clare Ellis
49 - 59
This chapter contains specialist reports on archaeobotanical and charcoal remains, calcined and cremated bone, phosphate analysis, micromorphological analysis and radiocarbon dating.
60 - 68
The Kiltaraglen excavation investigated an atypical site. Where fieldwork once concentrated on research and on particular locations, defined periods of prehistory, or classes of monument, the Kiltaraglen site was an unknown. Kiltaraglen was revealed to contain negative features predominantly dating, where this was established, to the Later Bronze Age. Previously unrecorded on Skye, this period is becoming better understood. The results of these excavations have implications for the wider region. A number of the individual feature groups remain undated, a consequence of the poor charcoal preservation abetted by the paucity of artefacts, in situ deposits and, in some cases, contradictions between the dates suggested by the artefacts, stratigraphy, spatial distribution and the radiocarbon results.
69
70 - 74