SAIR39The Excavation of an Early Bronze Age Burnt Mound at Arisaig, Lochaber, Highland
by Ian Suddaby*
with contributions by Torben Ballin, Michael Cressey and Clare Ellis
and illustrations by Karen Clarke and Leeanne Whitelaw
*CFA Archaeology Ltd, Old Engine House, Eskmills Park, Station Road, Musselburgh EH21 7PQ
ISBN 978 0903 9035 92
Published in November 2009 by The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, in association with The Council for British Archaeology and Historic Scotland, in Adobe Acrobat format. Available free of charge (see Terms & Conditions of Use).
During the upgrading of the A830(T), the 'Road to the Isles', the remains of a disturbed burnt mound deposit were discovered and later excavated during September and October 2005 by CFA Archaeology Ltd. This is the first such feature to have been excavated in this part of the Highlands.
The burnt mound was discovered lying partly below a modern field bank on the edge of Arisaig during a trial trenching evaluation. Excavation demonstrated that the feature was formed in an active fluvial environment and that, despite the rural and boggy location, it had suffered considerable damage since its formation, caused by both the fluvial action of the adjacent stream and by a field drain. No evidence was found for either a hearth or a formal trough. The implication of a small assemblage of local quartz from within the burnt material is discussed. The charcoal assemblage is compared to spectra of pollen from contemporary deposits of peat in the area. Studies of the nature and origin of the burnt material via the results of soil magnetic susceptibility and thin-section analyses are presented. Six radiocarbon dates from three associated contexts span the period from 2550 to 1900 BC and suggest the burnt mound accumulated during the Early Bronze Age.
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|Table of Contents|
|List of Illustrations|
|List of Tables|
|4.2 Phase 1 – Fluvial deposition of silts with evidence for vegetation|
|4.3 Phase 2 – Deposition of burnt stone and charcoal into the palaeochannel|
|4.4 Phase 3 – Fluvial deposition of silts with evidence for vegetation|
|4.5 Phase 4 – Deposition of spread of burnt stone and charcoal|
|4.6 Phase 5 – Fluvial erosion of burnt material, excavation of field drain and formation of field bank through site|
|5||The Finds and Environmental Evidence|
|5.1 The quartz assemblage, by Torben Bjarke Ballin|
|5.1.1 Raw material: types, condition and sources|
|5.1.2 Typological and technological assemblage composition|
|5.1.3 Stratigraphy and dating|
|5.2 Charcoal analyses, by Michael Cressey|
|5.2.5 Species composition of the fuel|
|5.3 Soil micromorphology, by Clare Ellis|
|5.4 Radiocarbon dates|
|6.2 Morphology and function|
|6.3 The wider area|
Published by The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, in association with The Council for British Archaeology and Historic Scotland, in Adobe Acrobat format. Available free of charge (see Terms & Conditions of Use).
Use http://www.sair.org.uk/ to cite this page.
Page last modified by Seren Langley on Monday 9 November 2009.