| 5 December 2017
Iron Age remains found during roadworks in Scotland
A possible Iron Age structure, tool and pottery pieces have been unearthed during roadworks in the Highlands of Scaotland. Archaeologists made the discoveries on the Crubenmore to Kincraig stretch of the A9 road.
The experts have now found pottery fragments, part of a plough and a previously-unknown structure close to a prehistoric underground structure called Raitt's Cave, near Kingussie.
As with all major infrastructure projects, Transport Scotland appointed a team of experts to check for previously-hidden ancient structures and other significant finds. Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology (ORCA) took up the task and opened a number of trenches to investigate anomalies identified in a survey.
Traces of a previously-unknown structure were identified together with a scattering of pottery fragments and a possible stone Ard point - a stone worked into a point for use as part of a plough.
The pottery was identified by Iron Age expert Martin Carruthers as a possible collection of early fragments from the period. These findings led the archaeologists to believe the structure may be associated with the Raitt's Cave souterrain. This underground structure is a scheduled monument and is very large compared with most similar pieces in the north of Scotland.
Souterrains remain a point of contention, as their use is still debated by archaeologists across the UK. It is believed they may have been used for storage, defence or some unidentified ritual, but commonly they are associated with settlement in the Bronze and Iron ages.
Edited from The Herald, BBC News; Metro.co.uk (4 December 2017)
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