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Durris Bridge

Flint Scatter (Neolithic), Flint Scatter (Mesolithic)

Site Name Durris Bridge

Classification Flint Scatter (Neolithic), Flint Scatter (Mesolithic)

Alternative Name(s) Crathes, Nether Mills Farm

Canmore ID 36639

Site Number NO79NE 24

NGR NO 7505 9600

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Aberdeenshire
  • Parish Banchory-ternan
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District Kincardine And Deeside
  • Former County Kincardineshire

Archaeology Notes

NO79NE 24 7505 9600.

NO 7505 9600. A total of 872 worked flakes were found on a sand and gravel knoll just above the flood plain by surface collection after ploughing and heavy rain. The site was examined at various times between the winter of 1972/3 and April 1974 by Dr Grieve. The finds are preserved in Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums.

RCAHMS 1984.


Field Walking (2008)

NO 75080 96030 Fieldwalking was carried out at 2m intervals on a recently ploughed river terrace. The field borders the River Dee and is the location of a lithic deposit previously recorded by Aberdeenshire SMR (NO79NE0022).

Over 3000 flints were collected from an area c350 x 100m. GPS co-ordinates were taken for each one using WAAS, typically accurate to ± 2m. Distribution figures were calculated on the basis of the number per 10 x 10m square. The highest concentration was in a 20 x 30m zone, containing almost 600 flints, at NO 75080 96030.

Two-thirds of the lithic material has been examined. The major component is Mesolithic of the ‘Narrow Blade’ (later) technology, and all phases of work from the preparation of raw material to the production of finished tools are represented. The assemblage includes diagnostic microburins and microliths, cores (mainly single platform), and a variety of scrapers. The microliths are mostly slim scalene pieces, with some tiny crescents; but so far no true late rod-like forms. However, there are a few earlier ‘points’, reminiscent of but smaller than those of the earlier ‘Broad Blade’ industry. Overall, it is one of Mellars’ ‘balanced assemblages’ and probably represents continued base-camp occupation over a fair period.

The other component of this site is Neolithic. The most spectacular find was an extremely fine polished flint knife (Middle to Late Neolithic) made from a large tertiary flake (NO 75034 96002). The preform suggests a Middle Neolithic date, since large blade production is not usually a part of later industries. It is ground and polished on both sides and ends, with subsequent retouch backing. Claimed as Treasure Trove (TT 08/08) and allocated to the Marischal Museum, Aberdeen.

Other Neolithic artefacts include a small but diagnostic sherd of fairly fine Early Neolithic pottery (NO 74864 95991), a small retouched flake knife (NO 75075 96020) and a broken leaf-shaped arrowhead (NO 75076 96007).

Analysis of material and further work on the site is ongoing.

Archive: RCAHMS (intended). Report (preliminary) Aberdeenshire SMR.

Heather Sabnis, James Kenworthy and OFARS, 2008

Field Walking (5 January 2012 - 26 February 2012)

NO 7508 9603 Further fieldwalking was carried out at 2m intervals, 5 January – 26 February 2012, on two fields bordering the N bank of the River Dee. This was a continuation of the survey started in 2008 to discover the full extent of the flint scatter in Crathes (DES 2008, 16–17 and DES 2011, 12). GPS co-ordinates were recorded for each find, typically accurate to 2–3m. Distribution figures were calculated on the basis of flint numbers per 10 x 10m2. The material has been briefly assessed but not examined in detail.

A total of c500 flints were recovered and in general the assemblage was similar to that recorded previously, with cores (mainly single platform), scrapers, and material representing all stages of preparation, but no diagnostic Late Mesolithic microliths, oblique points (possibly Early Mesolithic), or Neolithic pieces. However, this year three wide based triangles were picked up confirming an Early Mesolithic occupation.

Early Mesolithic wide based triangles have now been found at three locations in this 1.75km scatter through five adjacent fields along the N bank of the River Dee, the other two being at Nether Mills East (DES 2009, 16) and at Milton Cottage (DES 2011, 12).

Archive: Aberdeenshire Council SMR and RCAHMS (intended)

Heather M Sabnis, OFARS 26 February 2012

Field Walking (2017 - 2019)

Mesolithic Deeside is a group of archaeologists, students

and volunteers who fieldwalk over the winter along the Dee.

Fields walked include: Nethermills 1 (NO 75050 96000),

Nethermills 2 (NO 75305 96092), Nethermills 4 (NO 75880

96160), Nethermills 5 (NO 76337 96585), East Park 1

(NO 79477 98049), East Balbridie 1 (NO 74444 95817) East

Balbridie 2 (NO 74708 95772), East Balbridie 3 (NO 74784

95695), Crathes Castle 1 (NO 73488 96389), Potarch 1

(NO 60572 97386) Park Smiddy 1 (NO 77696 97644) Park

Smiddy 2 (NO 77527 97511), Upper Mills 1 (NO 75274

96589) Upper Mills 2 (NO 75560 96918), Kincardine O’ Neil 1

(NO 59270 99428), and Candieshill 1 (NO 74420 96511).

Fieldwalking for all ages – Kincardine O’ Neil

In 2017–18 several new lithic scatters were identified and

recorded. The results of test pitting will be reported in 2019.

Lithics have all been studied by Ann Clarke. All sites have

been reported to Aberdeenshire HER. Public events included

the Banchory Show, workshops, talks, lectures, Banchory

Museum exhibition and research.

Archive: NRHE

Funder: The Heritage Lottery Fund and Aberdeenshire Council

Archaeology Service

Alison Cameron, Diane Collinson and Shiela Duthie –

Mesolithic Deeside

(Source: DES, Volume 19)

Collections Managment (June 2018 - March 2019)

NO 75050 96000 – Nethermills Farm NM1, NO 75880 96160

– Nethermills Farm NM4, NO 79550 98180 – East Park,

NO 80350 98500 – Dalmaik Farm, NO 81050 98500 – Dalmaik

Hatchery, NO 74730 95950 – Milton Cottage, NO 71800 96200

– Birkwood East, NJ 85700 00600 – Maryculter Bridge

Cataloguing, June 2018 – March 2019, of an existing

collection of lithics from a number of sites resulting from

fieldwalking along the River Dee undertaken by Dr Grieve

in the 1970s has revealed evidence of activity from the

Palaeolithic to the Bronze Age.

Archive: Contributors (currently), Aberdeenshire Council and

HRHE (intended)

Funder: Society of Antiquaries of London, Society of Antiquaries

of Scotland, Marc Fitch Fund, and Aberdeenshire Council

Caroline Wickham-Jones and Torben Bjarke Ballin

(Source: DES, Volume 19)


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