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Coul Brae

Pit(S) (Prehistoric), Ring Ditch (Prehistoric)(Possible), Roundhouse (Prehistoric)(Possible), Bracelet, Lithic Implement(S) (Prehistoric), Organic Material, Saddle Quern, Unidentified Pottery (Neolithic)

Site Name Coul Brae

Classification Pit(S) (Prehistoric), Ring Ditch (Prehistoric)(Possible), Roundhouse (Prehistoric)(Possible), Bracelet, Lithic Implement(S) (Prehistoric), Organic Material, Saddle Quern, Unidentified Pottery (Neolithic)

Canmore ID 299558

Site Number NJ35NW 250

NGR NJ 3349 5974

NGR Description NJ 3349 5974 and NJ 328 597

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/299558

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

  • Council Moray
  • Parish Speymouth
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District Moray
  • Former County Morayshire

Activities

Excavation (2008)

NJ 3349 5974 (Trench 1), NJ 328 597 (Trench 2), NJ 336 596 (railway) An excavation was conducted on this route with the aim of locating groups of features revealed during an evaluation in 1997 (DES 1997, 56). Two trenches were opened by machine, covering just less than 1000m².

In trench one features recorded included pits, stone extraction holes and a ditch. Two large intercutting pits

contained an assemblage of Early Neolithic Carinated pottery, half a cannel coal bangle, lithics, a broken saddle quern and well-preserved carbonised environmental remains. Trench two by the Rothes Road revealed no significant remains.

A Level 1 standing building survey was conducted to record the visible remains of the tank shed, engine shed

and footbridge on the disused Fochabers Branch line at Fochabers. This was a rectangular structure (6.6 x 3.7m) consisting of large dressed sandstone blocks with an arched doorway and arched window. The engine shed consisted of the heavily overgrown wall footings, concrete plinths 0.2m high and 0.35m wide. The footbridge that spanned the disused Fochabers Branch line was arched and built of large dressed sandstone blocks, with smaller sandstone brickwork beneath the arch.

Archive: Aberdeenshire SMR and RCAHMS

Funder: Historic Scotland on behalf of Transport Scotland

Ian Suddaby and Ian Hill (CFA Archaeology Ltd), 2008

Excavation (January 2009 - March 2009)

NJ 3349 5974 In January–March 2009 a second phase of excavations was conducted on this route with the aim

of locating features in the areas around a 610m² trench excavated at Coul Brae in September 2008 (DES 2008, 125). The phase two trench (Trench 3) was opened by machine and covered an area of 2380m². A total of 112 features were recorded, including pits, stone extraction holes, postholes and ditches. A crescentic feature and a group of postholes recorded close by (to the S) may represent the remains of a ring ditch roundhouse. Prehistoric finds comprised sherds of pottery, coarse stone tools and lithics.

The finds from the Trench 1 excavation and radiocarbon dating demonstrate both early Neolithic and early Iron Age occupation at Coul Brae. The sparse finds from Trench 3 were undiagnostic, but together with the structural evidence and the results of radiocarbon dating from a 1997 evaluation they suggest a widespread later prehistoric use of an attractive elevated and sandy site.

Archive: Moray Council SMR and RCAHMS

Funder: Historic Scotland on behalf of Transport Scotland

Ian Suddaby – CFA Archaeology Ltd

References

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