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Berneray Causeway

Cairn (Period Unassigned), Rig And Furrow (Medieval), Settlement (Neolithic), Square Cairn (Pictish), Lithic Implement (Flint)(Neolithic), Lithic Implement (Quartz)(Neolithic), Mace (Neolithic), Unidentified Pottery (Neolithic)

Site Name Berneray Causeway

Classification Cairn (Period Unassigned), Rig And Furrow (Medieval), Settlement (Neolithic), Square Cairn (Pictish), Lithic Implement (Flint)(Neolithic), Lithic Implement (Quartz)(Neolithic), Mace (Neolithic), Unidentified Pottery (Neolithic)

Alternative Name(s) Rubh A'charnain Mhoir, Aird Ma-ruibhe, Otternish, Screvan Quarry

Canmore ID 140108

Site Number NF97NW 8

NGR NF 905 790

NGR Description Centred NF 905 790

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/140108

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Western Isles
  • Parish Harris
  • Former Region Western Isles Islands Area
  • Former District Western Isles
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Archaeology Notes

NF97NW 8 centred 905 790

NF 905 790 (centre) An archaeological watching brief was undertaken from October-December 1997 at the Rubh'a' Charnain Mhoir peninsula during the development of the Screvan Quarry site and the causeway linking North Uist to Berneray. In addition to the watching brief, a variety of features identified through walkover survey were excavated. These features included post-medieval boundaries and agricultural traces. Evidence of quarrying and harbour features were also recorded.

Examination of a findspot of pottery from within the Screvan Quarry area was undertaken, revealing evidence for Neolithic settlement activity. A large shallow pit and associated deposits contained the remains of up to 150 pottery vessels, as well as flint and quartz tools and part of a macehead. Other findspots and features which could be assigned to the Neolithic were located in the vicinity of the larger spread of material.

A cairn was revealed during stripping of topsoil for the causeway and new slipway at Otternish. The part of the cairn revealed was cleaned and recorded, during which a substantial kerb was observed. The cairn measured 8 x 8.8m and stood 0.5m high, and appeared to be a burial monument, possibly of Bronze Age origin. The cairn was directly impacted by the development, but discussion with the consultants, Babtie Group, and Historic Scotland resulted in the monument being preserved in situ through a redesign of the works.

Another cairn was discovered during further stages of the watching brief in August 1998 at Aird Ma-Ruibhe. This was a square cairn, thought to be Pictish in date, measuring 3 x 3m and comprised a kerb of worked gneiss slabs, with a mound of smaller gneiss and quartz pebbles inside. There were no corner posts, but a post-hole was located at the S corner of the cairn. The cairn was planned and photographed but not excavated. This monument was also threatened by the causeway works, but is now protected through realignment of the new road.

Full report with Western Isles Council.

Sponsor: Western Isles Council.

J Downes and A Badcock 1998

Activities

Watching Brief (October 1997 - December 1997)

NF 905 790 (centre) An archaeological watching brief was undertaken from October-December 1997 at the Rubh'a' Charnain Mhoir peninsula during the development of the Screvan Quarry site and the causeway linking North Uist to Berneray. In addition to the watching brief, a variety of features identified through walkover survey were excavated. These features included post-medieval boundaries and agricultural traces. Evidence of quarrying and harbour features were also recorded.

Examination of a findspot of pottery from within the Screvan Quarry area was undertaken, revealing evidence for Neolithic settlement activity. A large shallow pit and associated deposits contained the remains of up to 150 pottery vessels, as well as flint and quartz tools and part of a macehead. Other findspots and features which could be assigned to the Neolithic were located in the vicinity of the larger spread of material.

A cairn was revealed during stripping of topsoil for the causeway and new slipway at Otternish. The part of the cairn revealed was cleaned and recorded, during which a substantial kerb was observed. The cairn measured 8 x 8.8m and stood 0.5m high, and appeared to be a burial monument, possibly of Bronze Age origin. The cairn was directly impacted by the development, but discussion with the consultants, Babtie Group, and Historic Scotland resulted in the monument being preserved in situ through a redesign of the works.

Another cairn was discovered during further stages of the watching brief in August 1998 at Aird Ma-Ruibhe. This was a square cairn, thought to be Pictish in date, measuring 3 x 3m and comprised a kerb of worked gneiss slabs, with a mound of smaller gneiss and quartz pebbles inside. There were no corner posts, but a post-hole was located at the S corner of the cairn. The cairn was planned and photographed but not excavated. This monument was also threatened by the causeway works, but is now protected through realignment of the new road.

Full report with Western Isles Council.

Sponsor: Western Isles Council.

J Downes and A Badcock 1998

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