|13 June 2005
Broch discovered in Scotland
A Film crew and a team of archaeologists have unearthed the remains of an Iron Age settlement in a remote Wester Ross village (North West Highlands, Scotland). The Goldthorpe family, owners of Applecross Campsite, called in Channel 4's Time Team to discover whether a mystery mound on the site used to be a broch, an ancient, circular fortified tower. After three days of hard work, the team uncovered what was left of a pre-Pictish settlement dating from about 200 BCE.
They found the foundations of a tower 18 metres wide, along with artefacts including a hammer, a needle for piercing leather, crushed bones and antlers. The building consisted of two concentric dry-stone walls, separated by a cavity for insulation and to keep out rain. In places, they are up to 4.6 metres thick. Originally the tower would have been about 10 metres high, about the same size as the broch at Mousa in Orkney, but over the years the stones had been taken for other buildings in the area, leaving only its foundations.
Nick Goldthorpe said the team, which included experts from Historic Scotland and the National Museum of Scotland, had helped solve a mystery that had been with him since childhood. Time Team's assistant producer Oliver Twich said: "The sun shone on the final day, which was very fitting because we had gone through a lot of turmoil until that point trying to establish whether it was a broch. We were hampered by bad weather, but all our efforts paid off when the sun broke through on the last day. It is a shining example of a broch."
Applecross is accessed via the infamous single-track road across Bealach na Ba which, at 630 metres, is the highest in Britain. The Applecross episode of Time Team is scheduled to be shown early in 2006.
Source: This is North Scotland, The Press and Journal (9 June 2005)
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