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Burnt Mound (Prehistoric)

Site Name Arisaig

Classification Burnt Mound (Prehistoric)

Canmore ID 294446

Site Number NM68NE 53

NGR NM 667 865

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Arisaig And Moidart
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Lochaber
  • Former County Inverness-shire


Trial Trench (June 2005 - July 2005)

The A830 between Loch nan Uamh and Arisaig in Lochaber is the last remaining single-track trunk road in Scotland. A desk-based assessment undertaken by ASH in 2003 was updated by a walk-over survey in early June 2005. CFA Archaeology Ltd then investigated those remains that would be affected by the planned upgrading of the road between June and November 2005. The known features comprised old road alignments, estate infrastructure and a listed bridge. These were subjected to written and photographic survey and recording during the evaluation in late June and July. This also involved programmes of test-pitting and trial trenching and was followed by selective excavation..

NM 667 865 At Arisaig, a trench measuring c 13 x 12m was excavated by machine, revealing a weathered spread of reddened fire-cracked stones with intermittent charcoal covering an area of 11 x 6m. Although damaged by the later excavation of a ditch and field drain, it appeared the burnt mound lay on low banks of sand, which may have been natural or introduced to the site. There was a stream on one side and a marshy area on the other. The sand banks sealed an underlying primary deposit of burnt material containing stones that were not similarly reddened and this was associated with a stake-hole. There was no sign of either a hearth or of a trough.

Archive to be deposited with NMRS, report lodged with Highland SMR.

Sponsor: Historic Scotland.

I Suddaby, 2006.

Excavation (July 2007 - August 2007)

NM 6770 8580 (Brunary Burn), NM 6945 8515 (Borrodale), NM 6667 8650 (Arisaig).

Following a programme of archaeological work in 2005 (DES 2006, 86) which included the excavation of a burnt mound at Arisaig, pits and clearance cairns at Borrodale and two post-medieval buildings at Brunary Burn, a monitored topsoil strip was conducted at these locations in July and August 2007. No additional remains were recorded at Arisaig or Brunary Burn. A number of additional pits and ditches were indentified and subsequently excavated at Borrodale. These were in the main poorly defined and badly truncated. Few finds were recovered.

Archive to be deposited with RCAHMS and Highland SMR.

Funder: Historic Scotland on behalf of Transport Scotland

P Richardson 2007


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