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Archaeologists in the Highlands have unearthed a possible Iron Age structure, tool and pottery pieces during roadworks this week.

The discoveries were made on the Crubenmore to Kincraig stretch of the A9, which is to be made into a dual carriageway.

The experts have also found pottery fragments, part of a plough and a previously unknown structure close to a prehistoric underground structure called Raitt's Cave, near Kingussie.

Mysterious remains of an Iron Age structure, tools and pottery are unearthed near Raitt's Cave during roadworks on the A9 in the Highlands


Archaeologists studied the A9 during works to make it into a dual carriageway

They found pottery fragments, part of a plough and a mystery stone structure

The archaeologists believe the structure may be associated with the Raitt's Cave

This underground structure is a scheduled monument and is very large compared with most similar pieces in the north of Scotland


By Shivali Best For Mailonline
5 December 2017

Archaeologists in the Highlands have unearthed a possible Iron Age structure, tool and pottery pieces during roadworks this week.

The discoveries were made on the Crubenmore to Kincraig stretch of the A9, which is to be made into a dual carriageway.

The experts have also found pottery fragments, part of a plough and a previously unknown structure close to a prehistoric underground structure called Raitt's Cave, near Kingussie.


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 (pictured)

Scotland's Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Keith Brown said: 'Our work to dual the A9 will bring undoubted improvements for road users including improved journey times and significantly improving road safety.

'At the same time, the ongoing design work has opened a window into Scotland's past.

'We have already been able to shed more light on the Battle of Killiecrankie and now these latest finds on another stretch of the route offer evidence for experts on how our prehistoric descendants lived in the Iron Age.'

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 findings led the archaeologists to believe the structure may be associated with the Raitt's Cave souterrain (pictured)


Peter Higgins, senior project manager for Orca, said: 'We are tremendously excited by these finds in this archaeologically-significant location.

'We are also pleased that we can work with Transport Scotland to make sure that these finds are recorded correctly without impeding the roadworks so vital to this Scotland's economic development.'

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.


This underground structure is a scheduled monument and is very large compared with most similar pieces in the north of Scotland



The pottery was identified by Iron Age expert Martin Carruthers as a possible collection of early fragments from the period


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.

In March 2016 it was announced a metal detecting survey on the site of the Battle of Killiecrankie as part of part of the dualling works had unearthed dozens of items linked to the 1689 skirmish.


The discoveries were made on the Crubenmore to Kincraig stretch of the A9, which is to be made into a dual-carriageway


RAITT'S CAVE

Raitts Cave, also known as the 'Great Cave' is located northeast of Kingussie, in the Scottish Highlands.

It was first discovered in 1835, and is believed to date back to around AD 100-400.

The stone structure was built underground in a horseshoe shape.

Its use remains a point of contention between archaeologists.

Some believe that Raitt's Cave may have been used for storage, defence or some unidentified ritual, but commonly they are associated with settlement in the Bronze and Iron Ages.

THE BATTLE OF KILLICRANKIE

The Battle of Killiecrankie was fought between the Jacobites loyal to King James VII and II and troops supporting the Protestant King William on 27 July 1689.

The Jacobites, led by Bonnie Dundee, were mainly Highland Scots gathered by the clan chief Cameron of Lochiel.

The Government troops - most of who were Lowland Scots - were under the command of the Highlander General Hugh Mackay of Scourie.


The Battle of Killiecrankie was fought between the Jacobites loyal to King James VII and II and troops supporting the Protestant King William on 27 July 1689

The forces met at the Pass of Killiecrankie near Blair Castle.

The Jacobites held a strong position on a hilltop and waited for the sun to set behind the Government troops before they charged.

The Highland charge smashed into the centre of the Government lines and General Mackay's troops faltered and fled. Within minutes the battle became a rout.

Although the Jacobites secured their first victory of the rebellion, they lost a third of their number as well as their leader Bonnie Dundee, who had been killed alongside his men in the charge.


Read more: Archaeologists find an Iron Age structure in the Highlands | Daily Mail Online
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Last edited by Blackleaf; Dec 9th, 2017 at 06:22 AM..