The land before symbol stones
a geophysical survey of Rhynie, Aberdeenshire, and the excavation of a Middle Bronze Age structure near the Craw Stane, Barflat
Cropmark, carved stone
Rhynie; Craw Stane; Barflat; Aberdeenshire; Scotland; UK
Middle Bronze Age
This article outlines the results of two related but distinct aspects of fieldwork: a geophysical survey of the Rhynie cropmark complex and a small targeted excavation conducted in 2005–6, which are both part of the Rhynie Environs Archaeological Project (REAP). The geophysical surveys included a substantial gradiometer and a smaller resistivity survey that aimed to characterise and explore the extent and survival of archaeology around the Craw Stane Pictish symbol stone (NJ42NE 35) and two other symbol stone findspots. The results showed several discrete anomalies; one of these was targeted by a small-scale excavation and proved to be a burnt Middle Bronze Age timber structure. This article describes the geophysical survey results and the excavation of the MBA structure and sets both within their landscape context.