Mid Excavation Report by Oskar Sveinbjarnason (University of Aberdeen)
The excavation at Scotsburn House aims at dating the occupation as well as trying to discern if the site is a broch or a dun.
A single trench 20m long and 2m wide was placed over the building wall and extends northwards over four rampart banks. The round house wall has been revealed but it has not shown yet if it is a broch or a dun. The ramparts have so far shown a nice stone facing. The site is getting more complex as “new“ walls have been uncovered in the trench. The relationship between these walls and the ramparts and ditches is being investigated.
The lower left corner of the picture shows one of the banks. Behind Leaf and James is another bank and towards upper right corner is the Scotsburn house wall.
Following Oscar’s report an iron age road surface was uncovered in this ditch.
Then in the neighbouring ditch next to the Scotsburn “house” wall another discovery was made…
Vaidutis Žutautas (University of Aberdeen) takes up the account: The artefact is made out of sandstone, the socket diameter is about 17cm and it has been suggested to be a mortar of some sort by Dr F. Hunter. Because the stone seems to be smoothly pecked instead of having a rough surface, the possibility of it being a grinding stone is very unlikely. Unfortunately, one side of the stone, as you can see in the image, has started to erode, especially when it got completely uncovered. I am also uploading a wider area shot to show the context of the stone found within the trench. It sits in the occupation deposit between two low stone walls that almost undoubtedly form structures between the roundhouse and the first outer enclosure wall.
Further posts regarding the Scotsburn dig and the other excavations at Tarbat will follow later this month.
See also Vaidutus’s second post on Scotsburn, including a flyover video of the excavation.