Prehistoric Roundhouse Uncovered in Tore Woodland

working shotAOC's Inverness team recently investigated a roundhouse near Inverness, uncovering new evidence about prehistoric settlement north of the Highland capital. The works took place on behalf of Galbraith and Mr J Maclean in preparation for a new business park at Mullan’s Wood, Tore, after mature woodland was felled ahead of replanting operations.

Mary Peteranna, AOC's Operations Manager said, “it’s a fairly simple structure – low stone and boulder banks that were probably sunken into the subsoil and topped with turf. We found the remains of an arc of pits inside that would have held posts that supported a roof.”

The existing plantation at Mullan’s Wood, which had been planted around 70 years ago, is in the location of prehistoric fields and settlement within a rich prehistoric archaeological landscape including six Neolithic chambered cairns.

Spindle whorlWhile the trees had caused damage to the roundhouse during the past, most of the structure was intact. “We were not able to investigate the entire site, so the location of a central hearth or fire was not uncovered. But, we were very excited to find a stone bead, or small spindle whorl (left), inside a rich soil layer on the roundhouse interior. This is a truly ancient, personal object that someone left behind.”

The excavation area has been reinstated and the site will be protected during future works. In the meantime, environmental samples taken during the fieldwork has the potential to provide material for dating the site. “We’re not quite sure what period in prehistory that the site was used, potentially the Iron Age, 2,000 years ago, or perhaps earlier,” Mrs. Peteranna added.

Louise Alexander of Galbraith said, “the support of the developer will enable specialist analysis to be undertaken to date the roundhouse. All of the information compiled will help us all to better understand the prehistory of the Mulbuie Ridge.”