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Iron Working Site (Period Unassigned), Axe Mould(S)

Site Name Sittenham

Classification Iron Working Site (Period Unassigned), Axe Mould(S)

Alternative Name(s) Stittenham

Canmore ID 13735

Site Number NH67SE 1

NGR NH 6540 7417

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Rosskeen
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Ross And Cromarty
  • Former County Ross And Cromarty

Archaeology Notes

NH67SE 1 6540 7417.

(NH 6540 7417) Two Bronze Spearhead Moulds found (NAT)

OS 6" map, Ross-shire, 2nd ed., (1907)

A Late Bronze Age smelting furnace, among the debris of which were found "two beautifully formed sets of moulds for casting spearheads," was dug up by men trenching the moor in 1847. There is some doubt as to the precise location of this find. Maclean records, in 1886, that it was "about 150 yards SW of the cairn (NH67SE 15), but the Ordnance Survey Name Book (ONB, 1874), with Maclean as one of its authorities, states first that the find was made "a few chains S of the officehouses of Stittenham Farm" and then corrects the entry to read that it was found "100 yards NE of the officehouses." Wilson adds that they were found at a depth of 16", and near them was exposed the remains of an enclosure or building of stone containing a bed of ashes and scoriae.

The moulds, which are for casting looped and socketed axes, are made of steatite, of which a vein exists on the banks of a burn passing Ardross Estate Office. One of them (see fig. 49) was donated to the NMAS in 1970 by Lady Isobel Hay, Peebles, while the other (see fig. 48) is in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Casts of both moulds, and of the axes from them, are also in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS, Accession nos. CM 11-16).

D Wilson 1863; Name Book 1874; R Maclean 1886; H W M Hodges 1959; J M Coles 1962; NMAS 1971; Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1975.

Nothing was seen at the findspot indicated.

Visited by OS (W D J) 8 May 1963.

(Stone moulds for socketed axes of Sompting type). Hoard.

1609. Mould, brownish-green steatite, very smooth, blackened in matrix, slightly damaged in antiquity; length of mould-halves 155mm, length of matrix 125mm, cutting edge 84mm. NMAS L.1964.a and b.

1610. Mould, length 155mm, length of matrix 115mm, cutting edge 89mm. NMAS CM 11-12.

P K Schmidt and C B Burgess 1981.


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