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Dunbar, East Barns

Midden (Period Unassigned), Pit(S) (Period Unassigned), Post Hole(S) (Period Unassigned), Bowl (Pottery)(Neolithic), Lithic Implement(S), Unidentified Pottery (Prehistoric)

Site Name Dunbar, East Barns

Classification Midden (Period Unassigned), Pit(S) (Period Unassigned), Post Hole(S) (Period Unassigned), Bowl (Pottery)(Neolithic), Lithic Implement(S), Unidentified Pottery (Prehistoric)

Alternative Name(s) Bci North-east Quarry

Canmore ID 212799

Site Number NT77NW 86

NGR NT 7128 7674

NGR Description Centred on NT 7128 7674

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

C14 Radiocarbon Dating

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/212799

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Administrative Areas

  • Council East Lothian
  • Parish Dunbar
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District East Lothian
  • Former County East Lothian

Archaeology Notes

NT77NW 86 centred 7128 7674

NT 7210 7620 Archaeological trial trenching, amounting to 26,500m², in the westernmost 50ha portion of a proposed 182ha quarry development at East Barns, near Dunbar, revealed significant archaeological remains in five discrete areas, three of which will require additional investigative work. Fieldwalking and fluxgate gradiometry surveys were simultaneously undertaken in specific areas distributed across the entire quarry landtake. This survey work will inform future trial trenching in the central and eastern parts of the quarry development.

Trial trenching

NT 7142 7663 Trench 3. Oval pit feature, 3.0 x 1.2m, by 0.16m deep, its upper fill contained heat-affected stones overlying a thin charcoal-rich band of soil. Two sherds of prehistoric ceramic were recovered. Possible fire-pit.

NT 7119 7673 Trench 19. Seven post-hole/pit features. Four produced prehistoric ceramic sherds, one of which contained Grooved Ware. Probably part of a post-built structure.

NT 7128 7674 Trench 22. Two shallow pits, a possible post-hole and a possible occupation spread. Three of these features produced carinated bowl pottery (early 4th millennium to later 3rd millennium BC).

NT 7121 7686 Trench 25. Number of features occupying a 12m long zone of significant archaeological interest. They included a number of stake/post-holes associated with dark occupation or midden spreads. The features were of no great depth, with the spread deposits being of a particularly ephemeral nature. The survival of these features is probably a result of their low-lying situation in a natural hollow with the natural gravels rising to the NW and particularly steeply to the SE. The overlying colluvium sediments, which contained a small sherd of Impressed Ware, rendered a buffer between the anthropic deposits and the active ploughsoil. Most of these features were found to contain highly significant quantities of flint, chert, quartz and carbonised hazelnut shell. The small bladelets in the assemblage suggest a Late Mesolithic/Early Neolithic date.

NT 7133 7642 Trench 46. Small, heavily truncated pit containing three sherds of Beaker pottery. A 60m² exposure around this feature failed to reveal additional features.

Sponsor: Blue Circle Industries

J Gooder 2001

NT 712 768 (vicinity) Excavation on the site of a proposed limestone quarry extension near East Barns in autumn 2002 revealed prehistoric features potentially spanning the Mesolithic to Bronze Age. This work occurred as a consequence of findings from a previous evaluation (DES 2001, 31-2), and consisted of the investigation of areas around three of those evaluation trenches.

NT 7119 7673 Trench 19. Found to contain post-hole or pit settlement features, five of which produced prehistoric pottery sherds suggesting a Neolithic or Bronze Age date.

NT 7128 7674 Trench 22. A large depression, probably the eroded floor of a structure, was located adjacent to features previously investigated. Ceramic finds from nearby features denote a Neolithic date.

NT 7121 7686 Trench 25. Mesolithic and later features survived within a large natural hollow. The principal feature was a roughly circular house structure created by modifying the base and sloping sides of the natural hollow. Measuring 6.8m N-S by 6.2m, the feature had a deep, near-vertical edge on the E, where the hollow been subject to considerable quarrying. Within the E and SW edge of the structure, and intermittent elsewhere, lay a band of dark organic deposit up to 0.13m deep. This in turn overlay a considerable number of post-holes forming a circular arrangement within the structure. Outside, lithic scatters and pits surrounded the Mesolithic house. Over 25,000 lithics were recovered. Primarily debitage, it consists of all stages of the reduction process, including primary, secondary and tertiary small flakes and bladelets, split pebbles and shatter. Cursory inspection during wet sieving on site identified microliths, scrapers, burins and points.

Further archaeological works, comprising a watching brief of topsoil stripping and the archaeological cleaning of sample blocks of subsoil, were undertaken in October 2003 within the field in which the excavation had taken place. No features of archaeological significance were encountered.

Archive to be deposited in the NMRS.

Sponsor: Lafarge Cement UK.

J Gooder and C Hatherley 2003

Activities

Aerial Photography (3 July 2003)

References

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