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Deer's Den, roundhouses 195m and 250m south of

A Scheduled Monument in East Garioch, Aberdeenshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.2347 / 57°14'4"N

Longitude: -2.3596 / 2°21'34"W

OS Eastings: 378393

OS Northings: 816050

OS Grid: NJ783160

Mapcode National: GBR XB.6SGT

Mapcode Global: WH8P2.QFL5

Entry Name: Deer's Den, roundhouses 195m and 250m S of

Scheduled Date: 30 March 2009

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12465

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: hut circle, roundhouse

Location: Kintore

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: East Garioch

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

Description

The monument comprises the cropmarked remains of at least seven roundhouses of probable Iron-Age date (late 1st millennium BC/early 1st millennium AD). They are sited in pasture to the west of the A96 trunk road at Kintore, and lie around 60m above sea level and around 1.2km west of the River Don.

The remains of the roundhouses are not visible on the ground, but are clearly defined as cropmarks on aerial photography of the site. They vary from around 5m to 10m in diameter. Numerous other features can be noted in the area related to the roundhouses, including what appear to be postholes surrounding one example.

The area to be scheduled has two parts, one irregular on plan and one a cropped circle, to include the remains described and an area around within which evidence relating to their construction and use may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. Specifically excluded are the above-ground elements of all stone dykes and post-and-wire fences, to allow for their maintenance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics

The monument represents the cropmarked remains of at least seven roundhouses and related features. A further two roundhouses which were formerly part of this site, and noted by the RCAHMS on the site, formerly lay where the A96 is now located. The number of buildings visible and the overlapping nature of some of the examples suggests this site was also in use for a number of years, and that not all the roundhouses are contemporary with each other. The potential for the survival of buried deposits is high given the clarity of the cropmarks visible on aerial photography. Such deposits may give us valuable information about the creation, use and eventual abandonment and demolition of the roundhouses at this site, as well as their relationship with each other and the wider social and economic landscape and culture of the time.

Contextual characteristics

The monument is a representative of a relatively rare class in Strathdon. At least 187 hut-circles are visible as standing remains, but there are far fewer roundhouses visible as cropmarks in the region. Even fewer of these are found as unenclosed settlements, making the survival of this example all the more fortuitous as a potential settlement site. The importance of this particular example is enhanced by its location, immediately adjacent to the site of Kintore Roman camp. This provides excellent potential to reveal information about the social and economic interaction between the Romans and the native peoples occupying these houses at around the same time. In addition to this, other roundhouses have been previously excavated in the Kintore area, suggesting that the area was a significant area for settlement in the Iron Age. Numerous other types of prehistoric remains, both contemporary with this site and pre-dating it, exist in the surrounding area. Together with other lowland roundhouses, these examples can contribute to our understanding of the nature of later prehistoric settlement and the chronological, economic and social relationship to similar settlements in the uplands.

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 Iron-Age society and the nature of later prehistoric domestic and agricultural practice. The lack of recent cultivation of the site and the high quality of the cropmarks enhance this potential. The loss of this example would significantly impede our ability to understand later prehistoric societies in Aberdeenshire in particular and Scotland in general.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS record the site as NJ71NE 92: Roundhouses and Aberdeenshire SMR as NJ71NE0099: Cropmarks; Ditches; Hearths; Hut-Stances; Post-holes; Pottery.

Aerial Photographs:

RCAHMS 1995, D 98631, Springburn: Roundhouses.

References:

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

Greig M 1992, 'Springburn (Kintore parish)', DISCOVERY EXCAV SCOT, 1992.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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