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Geophysical Survey

Date 8 May 2007 - 16 May 2007

Event ID 558936

Category Recording

Type Geophysical Survey


NF 8907 7735 (Newton House), NF 8627 7532 (Cnoc a’ Chaisteal), NF 8646 7545 (Druim na h-Uamha) A souterrain at Newton House was discovered when a tractor partially collapsed the roof. This sparked community interest in the monument type and local residents were interested in two further possible

souterrains at Vallaquie. Orkney College Geophysics Unit was subsequently commissioned to survey this group of monuments by the North Uist Access Archaeology Group, in order to better understand the context within which the monuments were situated and define any associated settlement. A combination of gradiometry, resistance survey and ground-penetrating radar (GPR) survey was undertaken from 8–16 May 2007.

The site at Druim na h-Uamha is considerably more complicated than suggested by earlier investigations. The structure excavated and recorded by Carmichael does not appear to be a souterrain and was not clearly visible in the geophysical survey data, although this is likely to be a result of the geophysical properties of excavated features. There is, however, clear evidence for a concentration of structures, including at least one probable souterrain similar to those at Newton House and Cnoc a’Chaisteal, with a possible second, presumably earlier, one alongside. Although the relationships and dating between the structures and the probable souterrains is impossible to interpret without further investigation, the sizeable nature of some of

the apparent masonry is suggestive of broch-like architecture. It would also appear that the structures extend beyond the mound to the W and are quite deeply buried in places. The exact nature of this concentration of possible enclosures, pits, walls, and platforms or rubble is unclear but the lack of considerable magnetic enhancement differentiates them from the settlement associated with the mound.

Archive deposited with Geophysics Unit, Orkney College.

Funder: Access Archaeology.

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