Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

All our staffed properties, sites and offices, including the HES Archives and Library, are currently closed, but we’re working on plans to gradually reopen. In the meantime, you can access our services online. Find out more.

Tarbat Discovery Programme

Date May 2006 - June 2006

Event ID 550381

Category Recording

Type Excavation


NH 914 839 The 2006 season consisted of eight weeks excavation between May and July, concentrating on the northern zone of Sector 2, the area closest to the churchyard of St Colman's Church. Investigation of a leatherworking building (Structure 9) identified in 2005 continued and several postholes were identified and excavated as well as the final excavation and recording of the building's central hearth. A possible threshold was identified made of layered linear sandstone slabs suggesting an entrance from the NE. The threshold was associated with an area of metalled surface, kerbed with small Old Red Sandstone detail.

To the S of Structure 9, work continued to concentrate on the excavation of two roadside ditches and associated features. To the W, a stone baffle had been set into the terminus of the western ditch, which had been disused by dumping of ash deposits to level the area. To the E, the earliest form of the roadside ditch was achieved and consisted of a broad shouldered ditch with a vertical-sided slot in the base filled with cobbles to aid drainage. This issued into a small stone-lined cistern set slightly to the E of the ditch, but with connecting gully. To the E a precursor of the eastern drainage system was identified and will be the subject of investigation during 2007.

Further to the E of the road system two features were identified and excavated. The first, an earthen bank with boulder core was excavated and appeared to delineate an area used for butchery to the W and a further area of possible leatherworking to the E. The second, a large well-like feature, was partially excavated and appeared to be wood-lined. The feature was associated with an area of paved hard standing and was associated with a pumice rubber, small iron knife and various skin burnishing or smoothing stones.

The project archive is currently in the care of the Department of Archaeology, University of York, the NMS and Field Archaeology Specialists Ltd, York. All finds are reported to the Treasure Trove Advisory Panel, and all excavated material has been awarded to the NMS. Data Structure Reports for 2003, 2004 and 2005 have been deposited with the NMR and with Historic Scotland, and can be found online at uk/depts/arch/staff/sites/tarbat.

Sponsor: National Museums of Scotland, Historic Scotland, Ross and Cromarty Enterprise, University of York.

M Carver and C Spall 2005

People and Organisations