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Woodlands, hut circle 665m WSW of

A Scheduled Monument in Dyce/Bucksburn/Danestone, Aberdeen City

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.2203 / 57°13'13"N

Longitude: -2.2557 / 2°15'20"W

OS Eastings: 384654

OS Northings: 814424

OS Grid: NJ846144

Mapcode National: GBR XH.8SBM

Mapcode Global: WH9Q8.BS26

Entry Name: Woodlands, hut circle 665m WSW of

Scheduled Date: 4 March 2009

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12364

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: hut circle, roundhouse

Location: Dyce

County: Aberdeen City

Electoral Ward: Dyce/Bucksburn/Danestone

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

Description

The monument comprises the remains of a hut circle, a stone-walled house dating to the later prehistoric period, visible as upstanding stony banks. It is located at 175m above sea-level on a gently sloping terrace on the E side of Blue Hill.

The monument survives as a circular stony bank, 13m in external diameter, 0.8m thick and up to 0.3m in height. There is a possible entrance on the SW side, which is flanked on the east by a single large boulder and on the west by two smaller, though still substantial, stones. The structure of the wall is apparent in the inner and outer-facing stones visible within the circuit, some of which have a dressed appearance. The W half of the interior contains later field-cleared stones and the stones of the circuit have been disturbed by burrowing animals in the north.

The area to be scheduled is circular in plan, to include the remains described and an area around them within which evidence relating to their construction and use may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

The monument's cultural significance can be expressed as follows:

Intrinsic characteristics

The monument survives as an upstanding circuit of stony bank and has an inherent capability to inform our knowledge of later prehistoric domestic architecture and construction techniques. It is likely that archaeologically significant features, deposits and artefacts associated with the monument will survive below ground. There is also a high potential for the upstanding elements of the monument to have sealed beneath them the contemporary land surface. This soil is likely to contain important information on the environment within which the monument was constructed and land-use practices in the immediate and surrounding area.

Within and around the visible remains of the monument negative features may contain archaeologically significant deposits and artefacts. These have an inherent potential to inform our understanding of contemporary domestic life and material culture, and specific functions undertaken in the vicinity. The period of use of the monument, any phases of activity and the subsequent abandonment of the monument may also be demonstrated through research into these deposits.

Contextual characteristics

The monument is sited on the moderate S face of Blue Hill just below its flat, elongated top and is approximately 980m south of the River Don. It has the potential to inform our understanding of later prehistoric settlement pattern in a lowland location where its class is less frequently found.

Hut circles, a characteristic type of settlement structure of the later prehistoric period, have a widespread survival, in a variety of forms, across Scotland and further afield. It is an extensive and varied class of monument. This example survives as upstanding remains in a lowland location, an untypical survival, in a landscape rich in contemporary features. This monument has the potential, when compared and contrasted to other examples, to inform our understanding of geographical variation in the construction, uses and survival of its type.

RCAHMS has noted a burial cairn, extensive cairnfield and further hut circles 500m to the west and at least 23 clearance cairns in close proximity to the monument. The burial cairn in particular is a substantial feature, standing 2m high and 20m in diameter, and is located at approximately the same altitude on the western flank of the hill. As a part of this group of features, this monument has the potential to further our understanding of both religious and domestic aspects of society in the later prehistoric period at this locality and the relationships between the two. In addition, evidence of rig and furrow survives 150m to the SSW, a later land use which has not directly impacted on the survival of this monument but which may have obscured other related features.

National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to the understanding of the past, in particular individual domestic arrangements in later prehistoric society and the pattern of settlement and other land uses. The monument also has an inherent potential to contribute to our understanding of regional identities in later prehistory and the nature of any relationships between indigenous and more mobile groups of people. The unusually good survival of this hut circle in a lowland setting enhances this potential, as much of the artefactual and ecofactual evidence is likely to survive. The loss of this example would impede our ability to understand better the economic, agricultural and domestic basis for settlement in these types of Scottish landscape.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NJ81SW 182.

Aerial photographs:

RCAHMS (1998) Blue Hill Hut Circles; small cairns, rig.

Archive Nos : D 36356, D 36360, D 36362, D36363, D 40065, D 40062, D 40061, D 40059.

References:

RCAHMS 2007, IN THE SHADOW OF BENNACHIE: A FIELD ARCHAEOLOGY OF DONSIDE, ABERDEENSHIRE, Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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