Professor Ian Ralston


Ian Ralston

Excavations on behalf of the Burghead Headland Trust within the fort of Burghead, Moray, September 2003: an interim statement.

Ian Ralston - January 2006


Fig. 1 Burghead from seaward: photo Ian Ralston, Aberdeen Archaeological Surveys

1. Introductory note:

This interim account of the fieldwork at Burghead is presented in partial fulfilment of the conditions of the contract awarded to the University of Edinburgh by the Burghead Headland Trust. The reason not to present a final account meantime is that the single, productive trench, in the back garden of The Brae, 35, Grant Street, could not be completed in September 2003 because of safety issues related to the presence of a rather dilapidated standing garden wall in its immediate vicinity. This trench has therefore been temporarily backfilled, pending the intended demolition of the wall by its owner, Mr Gilbert Fraser, as part of the programme of works to stabilise and renovate The Brae.

It is hoped that in due course it will be possible to complete the excavation of the feature in the garden of the Brae, as this provides the best chance of dating this surviving fragment of the external works set across the promontory at Burghead. At that time, the finds that were made in 2003 will be processed along with, hopefully, more diagnostic material to be recovered at that stage. Finds at present consist essentially of modern objects from topsoil and others from mixed and disturbed contexts, and include primarily animal bone, modern pottery and glass. With the exception of one possible hammer-stone redeposited in the garden of 22 Church Street, there are no diagnostically early finds.

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