Work on A9 unearths Iron Age finds in Highlands

The latest finds were made around 100 metres from Raitt's Cave near Kingussie which was likely used as a place of defence or ritual during the Bronze and Iron Ages. PIC: Orca.
The latest finds were made around 100 metres from Raitt's Cave near Kingussie which was likely used as a place of defence or ritual during the Bronze and Iron Ages. PIC: Orca.
0
Have your say

Archaeologists have discovered a possible Iron Age structure, pottery and a stone tool amid major works to dual the A9.

The finds have been made on the Crubenmore to Kincraig stretch of the trunk road near Kingussie.

The stone Ard, likely used alongside a plough, was among the finds by archaeologists. PIC: Contributed.

The stone Ard, likely used alongside a plough, was among the finds by archaeologists. PIC: Contributed.

Archaeologists have been working on the route of the A9 to check for previously hidden ancient structures and other significant remnants from the past.

READ MORE: Rare “big nosed” warrior found on Pictish stone near Perth

The latest discoveries emerged after archaeologist investigated “several interesting anomalies” identified in a geophysical survey.

The area was of heightened interest to archaeologists given its close proximity to a prehistoric souterrain called Raitt’s Cave near Kingussie, which is likely to have been used for storage, defence or rituals during the Bronze and Iron Ages.

Archaeologists believe these fragments may be Iron Age pottery. PIC: Orca.

Archaeologists believe these fragments may be Iron Age pottery. PIC: Orca.

READ MORE: Archaeologists return to seat of Pictish kings in North East

Staff at Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology (ORCA) have now found a previously unknown structure around 100 metres away.

A scattering of pottery sherds and a possible stone Ard point, likely to have been used as part of a plough, were also discovered.

The pottery was identified by Martin Carruthers, an Iron Age specialist at the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute as a possible collection of early Iron Age sherds.

The remnants of the possible Iron Age structure found near Kingussie. PIC: Orca.

The remnants of the possible Iron Age structure found near Kingussie. PIC: Orca.

These finds led the archaeologists to believe that the structure may be associated with the souterrain.

Peter Higgins, Senior Project Manager ORCA, commented, “We are tremendously excited by these

finds in this archaeologically significant location.

“We are also pleased that we can work with Transport Scotland to make sure that these finds are recorded correctly without impeding the roadworks so vital to this Scotland’s economic development.”

Keith Brown Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work said: “Our work to dual the A9 will bring undoubted improvements for road users including improved journey times and significantly improving road safety.

“At the same time, the ongoing design work has opened a window into Scotland’s past. We have already been able to shed more light on the Battle of Killiecrankie and now these latest finds on another stretch of the route offer evidence for experts on how our prehistoric descendants lived in the Iron Age.

Over 80 miles of road will be improved over the next 8 years as part of one of Scotland’s largest infrastructure projects.