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30 October 2005
A dozen Iron Age roundhouses uncovered in Inverness

Archaeologists are excavating in Scotland what they describe as "the most important site found in Inverness for decades". They discovered the remains of an entire village, 'industrial estate' and trading centre at an undisclosed location near the city. So far, a team of 20 diggers has discovered the remains of around a dozen huge Iron Age roundhouses at the site as well as evidence of metal and glass working.
     Those heading the dig believe it may have been the stronghold of a Highland ruler with trading links to the rest of Europe. "I don't know if there was a king here two thousand years ago or what, " excavation leader Mark Roberts commented. "That's why I just use the term the Big Cheese, but he was around here and he was the real thing."
     The discovery was made after a routine archaeological inspection of a development site earlier this year. That revealed the previously untouched remains of around a dozen Iron Age roundhouses and evidence of metal and glass working.
     Fraser Hunter, the National Museum Of Scotland's curator of the Iron Age and Roman periods, has been working with the excavation team. "This is the most important site dug in the Inverness area for a substantial time, " he said. "We are probably talking about the Iron Age nouveau riche rather than a king. He would have been the local power-broker around Inverness."
     The archaeological team has been on the site for two months and expects to take another month to complete the research into the community and its way of life. Tulloch Homes, which was ordered to carry out the dig as a condition of planning permission for the site, has funded the 250,000 cost of the meticulous excavation and recording of the site.

Source: The Inverness Courier (25 October 2005)

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