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Geophysical Survey

Date April 2008 - November 2011

Event ID 964749

Category Recording

Type Geophysical Survey


HY 22945 16391 (centred on) An extensive walkover survey, covering c750ha, was undertaken between April 2008 November 2011 over an area of Yesnaby and Skaill Bay on the W coast of mainland Orkney, as part of PhD research. More than 200 sites were identified ranging from Bronze Age burnt mounds to post-medieval buildings and enclosures. Most significantly an extensive upland field system was identified around the probable Bronze Age roundhouse on the Peerie Hill. A targeted gradiometer survey was undertaken on three sites within the survey area.

The gradiometer survey of c2.2ha covering the Peerie Hill roundhouse and surrounding field system was of limited success due to the effect of peat growth and soil erosion. However, it did suggest that the roundhouse had at least two phases of occupation. A survey of a c3.75ha area inland of the Broch of Borwick (HY21NW 1) recorded responses indicative of rig and furrow, and a series of post-medieval field boundaries were also noted. However, the level of magnetic enhancement suggests that these features are reworking substantial deposits of anthropogenic soil, which appear to be associated with the broch. A survey of c1ha on the promontory fort at the Brough of Bigging (HY21NW 7) revealed clusters of apparently non-domestic responses, which seem to be related to the cist-like features and deposits of burnt material that are eroding from the NW side of the promontory.

Report: Orkney SMR and RCAHMS (intended)

Funder: Orkney College UHI

Orkney College UHI, 2011

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