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Date October 2016 - August 2017

Event ID 1040134

Category Recording

Type Excavation


NH 70590 65855 A programme of work was undertaken at the scheduled monument of Kirkmichael Kirk during redevelopment of the kirk. A watching brief was undertaken, August 2016 – August 2017, throughout ground-breaking works to enable installation of drains, paths, services and signage. An excavation to lower the floor levels of the kirk was undertaken in October and November 2016.

Excavations within the kirk revealed an earlier phase of wall and some material that may be related to a building or renovation phase. There was also a considerable depth of modern material, including wooden box-like structures and excess soil from grave digging. Many modern artefacts were recovered including bottles and vases. A scatter of 17th- and 18th-century coins are thought to have been imported with grave digging material, along with many disarticulated and fragmentary human remains. An unexpected find was a flint arrowhead, which may have also been imported with gravedigging spoil. The human remains have undergone basic analysis and have been reinterred within the graveyard.

Twenty monumental grave ledger slabs were recorded during the watching brief. The majority of these were inscribed and dated from the 17th and 18th century. Three 17th-century slabs featured an inscribed claymore sword, which appears to be part of a local tradition during the post- Reformation period to include a known but suitably secular motif on monumental grave slabs. All the slabs were able to be preserved in situ. Fragmentary disarticulated human remains were recovered, assessed, and reinterred within the graveyard.

Archive: Highland HER and NRHE

Funder: The Kirkmichael Trust, with funding from HES, HLF, The Highland Council, The Monument Trust, The Robertson Trust and many others

Lynne McKeggie – Highland Archaeology Services

(Source: DES, Volume 18)

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