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Watching Brief

Date 1 May 2009 - 30 November 2009

Event ID 589428

Category Recording

Type Watching Brief


NJ 9559 0355 (centred on) The closure of the landfill site at Ness Farm and Tullos Hill required a programme of groundwork operations across several phases to ensure a safe closure. Phase I was undertaken between May and October 2009, and as the area is rich in archaeological features an archaeological monitoring scheme was operated on groundworks in areas beyond the boundaries of the known landfill excavations.

The monitoring encountered a total of 57 features, two of probable modern origin, three of probable landfill origin (1960s or 70s), 36 of which dated to the mid 20th century, 15 of post-medieval origin, and one unknown and probably natural feature. The 36 mid-20th-century features largely related to the known site of a WW2 Ack Ack Battery, later converted into a POW camp. This is known from personal accounts, OS mapping and aerial photography, as well as excavations on the adjacent site (Peterseat, DES 2001, 7). The closure works provided a rare opportunity to record this area, with known features surviving, and some previously unrecorded hut bases. In addition, many of the drainage and service features survived sub-surface. Where excavations were deep, up to 3m below the present ground surface, features relating to the Battery and Camp still survived, showing that the site was on a slope, and that despite more recent landfill operations, a strategic destruction and removal of the camp never occurred on this part of the site. Small features such as intact bolts and internal drain features were revealed.

The post-medieval features largely related to both known and newly discovered remains, and varied from known dry stone dykes to sub-surface field drains and plough marks, showing agricultural use and improvement of this outlying area. A small number of flint finds was also recovered during the operations, and may relate to known prehistoric use of the area, already signified by the number of cairns on the hill; these have remained unaltered by the closure works and have been fenced.

Archive: Aberdeen City Council

Funder: Aberdeen City Council

Cat Peters - Aberdeen City Council Archaeological Unit

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