Canmore Site 34813: FINAVON - OATHLAW - FORT (IRON AGE)


Other Name(s)n/a
Site NumberNO55NW 32
Site Type(s)FORT (IRON AGE)
NGRNO 50697 55666
NGR accuracyNGR given to the nearest 1m
Local AuthorityANGUS
Record created1988-03-07
Last updated2011-08-05

Archaeology Notes

NO55NW 32.00 5065 5567 NO55NW 32.01 NO 506 556 Cup and Ring-Markings (NO 5065 5567) Fort (NR) Finavon, an elongated heavily vitrified timber-laced fort with a well in it, measures about 500' by a maximum of 120' internally. Excavations carried out in 1933-4 by Childe (1935) showed that the wall was about 20' thick and that it stood 12' internally and 16' externally beneath the grass-grown rubble. There was a row of dwellings with hearths under the shelter of the N wall. Pot-making, spinning and metal-working were carried out in the lee of the S wall. The finds, including gritty plain potsherds, stone whorls, flints, an iron ring, and a thick jet ring, are in the NMAS (Acc. Nos: AO 104, BE 480, HH 386-416). In 1966 MacKie dug two trenches against the inner faces of the N and S ramparts, and three radio-carbon dates were obtained - c. 390, c. 480, and c. 665 BC - indicating that the fort was in use from the 7th century BC until at least the late 5th or early 4th century before being destroyed. Resurveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (JLD) 22 August 1958 V G Childe 1935; V G Childe 1936; M A Cotton 1954; R W Feachem 1963; E W MacKie 1966; E W MacKie 1967; E W MacKie 1969. This roughly rectangular fort is situated on an isolated summit towards the NE end of Hill of Finavon and measures 150m by 37m eithin a massive vitrified wall up to 6m thick; further protection is provided by a hornwork on the E. All that can be seen in the interior is a well, but excavations in 1933-5 revealed traces of buildings, pottery and metal-working debris. Charcoal excavated in 1966 yieled radiocarbon dates of 590 bc +/- 90 (GaK-1224), 410 bc+/- 80 (GaK-1222), and 320 bc +/- 90 (GaK-1223). V G Childe 1935; V G Childe 1936; E W MacKie 1969; RCAHMS 1983. Fragments of vitrified and unvitrified material from this fort are in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (1947.336, 337). Information from Museum Accessions Register. NO 5060 5567. An evaluative excavation was undertaken in advance of the proposed erection of a telecommunications tower on Finavon Hill, immediately adjacent to the vitrified hillfort. Approximately 82m2 was examined and one possible stone feature was identified: a broken stone slab surrounded by rounded stones, apparently derived from the conglomerate bedrock. Although this may have constituted an archaeological feature, no associated finds or features were detected. Detailed reports will be lodged with the NMRS. Sponsor: Orange Personal Communications Services Ltd. C Swift 1997. NO 506 556. A detailed survey of the remains of the hillfort on Finavon Hill (NMRS NO55NW 32) was undertaken and instances of damage or erosion recorded. A detailed report will be lodged with NMRS. Sponsors: Historic Scotland, University of Edinburgh. D Alexander 1999.

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