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Date 14 August 2017 - 25 August 2017

Event ID 1040034

Category Recording

Type Excavation


NN 1270 7013 (NN17SW 6) An excavation was carried out, 14–25 August 2017, by the Nevis Landscape Partnership, with local volunteers and AOC Archaeology Group at the vitrified hillfort of Dun Deardail. The excavation of two trenches in 2017 formed the final phase of a three-year project. The first two years’ investigations consisted of the excavation of eight trenches, plus topographic and geophysical survey.

Trench 1 excavated in the upper ‘citadel’ area of the hillfort exposed a series of stone-built hearths set on an extensive area of paving that predated the vitrification of the hillfort. This hearth and paving would have been at the centre of a probable turf or timber building; however, evidence for any structural elements of this lay outwith the trench save for a couple of scoops and postholes.

Trench 5 investigated the break between the upper ‘citadel’ and the lower internal terraces of the hillfort. In this trench evidence for the multi-phase occupation of the hillfort was recovered. The pre-vitrification structures consisted of a wall which separated the two areas of the hillfort. Although not vitrified, the wall was heavily affected by the intense heat of the fire, which had reduced it to small pieces of shattered stone. Downslope from this was a foundation comprising a layer of rounded boulders overlying a layer of rounded cobbles. Overlying these two walls were a series of burning and collapse deposits relating to the vitrification. Above these vitrification deposits there was evidence for the reoccupation of the hillfort. The main wall dividing the two areas of the hillfort appeared to have been rebuilt, and an occupation deposit and a slight wall were recorded.

Archive: NRHE (intended)

Funder: Forestry Commission Scotland

Jamie Humble – AOC Archaeology Group

(Source: DES, Volume 18)

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