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Archaeology Notes

Event ID 657380

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Archaeology Notes


NG33NW 3 3395 3861

See also NG33NW 4.

NG 3395 3861 Dun Beag (NR)

OS 6" map, Inverness, 2nd ed., (1904)

Dun Beag is a broch near Struan and is situated at the N end of a small rocky eminence about 200ft above sea level. Access to it is from the S as for more than half its diameter on the N side it is within 4ft of the rocky edge. The broch was excavated from 1914 to 1920 by Countess Vincent Baillet de Latour, FSA Scot.

The inner court is circular and the diameter is 35ft. The outside diameter is about 60ft. The doorway faces slightly S of E, just where the wall curves inwards from the edge of the plateau.

In the interior, 16ft of wall facing SW was found in the NE sector, and a network of drains at various levels. These seem to be of later date as nearly all the finds were at the lowest levels.

Structures described by Pennent (Pennent 1776) and Dr. Johnson, (see R W Chapman 1924) in 1772 or 1773, in the centre, were evidently of a later date and have disappeared.

As no definite layers of occupation were encountered, it is possible that the broch was used until comparatively recently. The erection and disappearance of these later buildings, sweeping away previous secondary buildings, seems to bear this out, as does the discovery of coins of Henry II, Edward I, James VI (Scots), George II and George III.

Other finds included many stone implements and utensils, a gold ring, bronze objects, a piece of folded sheet lead, iron and glass objects, a borer of bone, a pick made from an antler, much pottery and a stone cup. An armlet of glass covered with vitreous paste of different colours is similar to examples found in the lowest levels of Traprain Law (NT57SE 1) dated to probably about 100 AD. A complete crucible is almost identical with one found in the group of earth-houses at Foshigarry, N Uist.

The character of the ornamentation of a bronze buckle is more Scandinavian than Celtic and gold rings similar to the one found here have been found with Viking remains.

Considerable quantities of cattle and sheep bones were found and a cake of carbonised seeds, probably either oats or rye.

Several hundred glass beads found cannot be considered prehistoric relics.

T Pennant 1776; J G Callender 1921; R W Chapman 1924; RCAHMS 1928; A Graham 1949.

Broch as described by Callender. Condition good. There are about 6 ruined houses to the N and E.

Visited by OS (C F W) 10 April 1961.

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