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16 March 2010
Four Iron Age roundhouses discovered in Scotland

Experts believe they have discovered another Iron Age power centre in Moray (Grampian, Scotland). National Museums of Scotland curator Dr Fraser Hunter said investigations at a field at Burghead have possibly revealed 'a high-status site'. The archaeologist said the remains of four Iron Age roundhouses could lie buried beneath the soil. He said: "In combination with the finds that have been discovered at the site, it suggests that this is one of the more important areas, one of the power centres of the Burghead area." The exact location of the site at Burghead is being kept secret while further investigations are carried out.
     Exciting discoveries unearthed at the field in recent years prompted a team of Glasgow University experts to carry out a study of several acres of land. A hoard of Roman coins and brooches, Bronze Age gold-plated ring money, a shield stud and a gold ring are among the relics found at the location in recent years. The three-day National Museums of Scotland-sponsored study investigated the internal structure of the field using a technique called geophysical surveying.
     Mr Hunter said: "There's evidence that we have got a settlement of roundhouses there, which was what we were hoping for. We can never know entirely with geophysics, so the idea would be to test this and get some funding. We need to discuss it with various people and the landowner but the ideal next move would be to start excavating. It looks very promising."
     Another Iron Age power centre 13 miles south at Birnie, near Elgin, has, over the last 12 years, uncovered a vast array of relics. Mr Hunter went on to say that the works at the Burghead field would be small-scale by comparison, however. "There is no way that we could do anything on the same scale as what we have done at Birnie. We have been digging there for 12 years," he said.

Source: The Press and Journal (6 March 2010)

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