Most recent entries
- Excavations at High Pasture Cave and trial trenching of roundhouses in the wider landscape………
- Excavation News from the High Pasture Cave site
- Fieldwork progressing well at the High Pasture Cave site…..
- End of the 2009 Fieldwork seasons at High Pasture Cave and the Fiskavaig Rock Shelter
- . News Update from Excavations at the Fiskavaig Rock Shelter, Skye…..
- Prehistoric Ard Marks Uncovered at the High Pasture Cave site…..
- Great weather and good progress at the High Pasture Cave site…..
- High Pasture Cave Excavations - 2009
- First phase of the 2009 excavations completed at the Fiskavaig rock shelter…..
- Fiskavaig Rock Shelter 2009 - Excavations Underway…..
- Late finish to the excavation season at the Fiskavaig Rock Shelter site….
- Excavations Resume at Cave of the Speckled Horses, Fiskavaig
- Laser Scanning at High Pasture Cave
- Closure of the High Pasture Cave site for 2008
- Get all of the latest news from the trenches for August 2008
- August 2010
- July 2010
- December 2009
- August 2009
- July 2009
- June 2009
- May 2009
- April 2009
- March 2009
- October 2008
- September 2008
- August 2008
- July 2008
- June 2008
- May 2008
- April 2008
- November 2007
- September 2007
- July 2007
- June 2007
- May 2007
- November 2006
- October 2006
- September 2006
- August 2006
- July 2006
- June 2006
- May 2006
- April 2006
- March 2006
- February 2006
- November 2005
- October 2005
- September 2005
- August 2005
- July 2005
- June 2005
- May 2005
- April 2005
- March 2005
- February 2005
12th May 2006 - Recent fieldwork at the High Pasture’s site
Posted by steven on 16/05/2006 at 12:34 PM
Fine, dry and sunny weather during the past week has allowed good progress to be made at the High Pasture’s site. Read on for news of recent fieldwork including the latest geophysical survey and the discovery of a cup-marked stone.....
Although the weather during the past three weeks or so has been very upredictable, with four seasons in one day on some occassions, we have just experienced 8 days of fine and sunny weather. This has allowed us to progress well with the new fieldwork season at the site, including the completion of our extended geophysical survey.
David Hodgson using the fluxgate gradiometer during the recent geophysical survey
David Hodgson and Susan Moore from Inverness, and Sarah Ward from Southampton completed the survey over a 6 day period, which included a real mix of weather conditions including thunder, lightning and hail showers! However, the sun provided some welcome respite between these extreme conditions and assisted the survey. An area of ground totalling 0.54 hectares was subjected to survey including the Fluxgate Gradiometer survey at 0.5 metre resolution and Geoscan Earth Resistance Meter at 1 metre and 0.5 metre resolution.
Susan Moore surveying using the Geoscan Earth Resistance Meter, with Sarah Ward handling the tape measures and cables
The team also conducted a ‘pseudo-section’ survey using the Geoscan RM15 and MPX15 Multiplexor, using Wenner and Double Dipole arrays. The 30 metres long section was run through the centre of the ‘roundhouse-type’ structure within the core of the High Pasture’s site, which from excavations within the entrance of the structure during 2005 indicated that it may have been built into the top layers of deep archaeological deposits. It is hoped that the vertical electrical profile through this area of the site will provide data pertaining to the depth of deposits and the possible structures they contain, which will inform our forthcoming excavations of this structure.
The geophysics team of David, Susan and Sarah, carrying out the vertical electrical profile through the ‘roundhouse’ structure and associated archaeological deposits
The data resulting from the geophysical survey is now being processed and we eagerly await the final report. Fieldwork at the High Pasture’s site during 2006 and 2007 will investigate anomalies highlighted through the survey, using trial excavation techniques. In particular, we are interested in the potential identification of areas within the site that may have been utilised for metalworking. Excavations undertaken to date have revealed material relating to metalworking processes including vitrified crucible fragments, slag deposits, fragments of smelting hearths and hammer scale.
Finally, we must extend a big thank you to the geophysics team, not just for the wonderful survey they have carried out, but also for the discovery of a cup-marked stone within the core of the High Pasture’s site. During a run through the site (to the north of the ‘roundhouse’ structure) using the Geoscan Resistance Meter Susan spotted a cup-mark in a large granite boulder.
The cup-marked stone looking from the east (Scale = 1m)
Having drawn the object to our attention we had a closer look at the boulder, which appears to have been re-used at the site in the construction of a stone and turf bank. The finely pecked cup-mark was clear to see in the rough surface of the granite and peeling back a small area of moss at the base of the stone, Steven uncovered a second cup-mark. With the exception of a small group of Pictish Symbol stones in the area of Skye & Lochalsh, other forms of rock art such as cup-marked stones are quite rare. The nearest examples of note are in Glenelg, not far from the fine brochs within this secluded glen on the adjacent Mainland. And, although cup-marked stones have been identified in Iron Age structures such as souterrains, possibly as re-used pieces of rock art, it is thought that they may extend back into the Bronze Age and possibly into the Neolithic. Therefore, the discovery of the cup-marks at High Pasture’s potentially extends the use of the site back in time, a fact that may also be supported by the discovery of a microlith and a fragment of a leaf-shaped arrowhead.
A closer view of the cup-marked stone with low-angled light. Scale is provided by the 50 pence piece lying on the granite boulder
Next entry: 15th May 2006 - News from the Trenches