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Date 19 September 2016 - 24 September 2016

Event ID 1024724

Category Recording

Type Excavation


NJ 1627 6295 (NJ16SE 11) As part of the Northern Picts Project surveys and excavations have been undertaken in an area stretching from Aberdeenshire to Shetland targeting sites that can help contextualize the character of society in the early medieval period in northern Pictland. In Moray we have been evaluating a series of forts in the wider environs of Burghead to attempt to construct a regional chronological framework for the development of fortified enclosures.

Knock of Alves is located to the S of Burghead, just to the W of Elgin. The summit encompasses an area of c40 x 22m, enclosed by a possible rampart. Two ramparts run around the lower slopes of the hill. Six trenches were excavated on Knock of Alves fort, 19–24 September 2016. A 4 x 4m trench on the summit identified four postholes in a linear

arrangement extending SW/NE with a larger pit feature to the W and a further posthole in the SE corner of the trench. A trench across the putative inner rampart failed to identify a definitive enclosure boundary here, although the area had been affected by quarrying and a hollow-way. Other trenches were placed over the outer enclosure boundaries. At the base of the hill two trenches verified the two banks and ditches visible on a marginal land survey plan from 1957. The inner rampart was very heavily truncated but a shallow internal ditch, c2.5m in width was found in association. A mid fill of the ditch contained significant quantities of charcoal. The outer rampart was also heavily denuded and an internal

ditch or quarry scoop contained only sterile fills.

Archive: University of Aberdeen

Funder: University of Aberdeen

Gordon Noble and Oskar Sveinbjarnarson – University of Aberdeen

(Source: DES, Volume 17)

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