Second Phase of Caithness Broch Festival to Commence

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Get Involved in Community Archaeology exploring Iron Age Caithness!

  • Trial trenches Bruan Broch 13 & 14 October 2017
  • Trial trenches Thing’s Va Broch 15 & 16 October 2017

The initial results are now in from the geophysics survey completed at Bruan Broch and Thing’s Va Broch in Caithness by archaeologists from Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology, the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute, Caithness Broch Project and local community volunteers….and they show some very interesting findings which need further investigation.

Bruan Broch Geophysics AnnotatedThe geophysics results from Bruan Broch indicate a possible settlement to the southwest of the structure itself which, although it is not possible to date from geophysical data alone, could be contemporary with the broch. The settlement may even be a late Iron Age settlement known as a ‘wag’, which are often associated with former broch sites. The magnetometer survey also highlighted further anomalies, which may represent a continuation of the settlement to the south and east.

Following these exciting results, the team are undertaking trial-trenches at Bruan on 13 & 14 October to which the community are invited to visit and get involved.

Geophysics Things Va Annotated

The geophysics data from Thing’s Va Broch presented the team with a mystery; there are hints of features to the northeast of the broch that may represent structures that could be a Late Iron Age ‘wag’, but there is little of the magnetic enhancement that is usually associated with a broch. It is possible that these faint features relate to activity associated with the later role of the site referred to in its place name. The ‘Thing’s’ element to the site name indicates that it was used in the Norse period as a meeting place.

Furthermore, the data also showed an anomaly to the northeast of the broch which could represent a burnt mound. A cairn to the south may also be a burnt mound, but could be a substantial roundhouse of Late Iron Age date.

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Geophysics at Bruan Broch

The team decided that only a series of trial-trenches could help explain the activity at the Thing’s Va site. The archaeological excavations will commence on 15 October and end the following day, 16 October. Once again, the community is invited to get involved and will be made most welcome.

If you are interested in getting involved with this exciting series of archaeological digs then contact the team on studyarchaeoology@uhi.ac.uk or 01856 569225

Caithness Broch Festival Trial Trenching V4

For more information on the Caithness Broch Festival then see our previous blog post.


The community archaeology project is funded from the Tannach & District Wind Farm Charitable Trust Fund supported by Foundation Scotland, Bailie Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund and the Caithness and North Sutherland Fund.