Early medieval settlement and ironworking in Dornoch, Sutherland
excavations at The Meadows Business Park
Building Ditched Enclosures, Settlement, Bone, Ironworking Evidence, Iron Slag Bog Iron, Bone Pin Beater
Highland, Scotland, UK
Monitoring and excavation during the development of a new business park in Dornoch (NGR: NH 797 895) in 1997 revealed numerous features including a building, ditched enclosures and several hearths, all sealed beneath an artefact-rich cultivation soil. Radiocarbon dates obtained place the main period of activity here in the late 1st millennium AD. The evidence recovered also suggests a tradition of ironworking here from the early medieval period continuing through into the medieval period. A small assemblage of finds was recovered from the excavation, including quantities of iron slag, bog iron ore, fragments from a clay-lined furnace, whale bone, a bone counter and a bone pin beater. This paper reports on the results of the work and includes an extended section on the analysis of the iron making and working evidence.