Ancient Monuments

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Mylnefield, ring ditch and souterrain 595m ESE of

A Scheduled Monument in Carse of Gowrie, Perth and Kinross

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.4584 / 56°27'30"N

Longitude: -3.0727 / 3°4'21"W

OS Eastings: 333987

OS Northings: 730101

OS Grid: NO339301

Mapcode National: GBR VH.745R

Mapcode Global: WH6Q4.RXZS

Entry Name: Mylnefield, ring ditch and souterrain 595m ESE of

Scheduled Date: 30 September 1996

Last Amended: 8 October 2019

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6469

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: hut circle, roundhouse

Location: Longforgan

County: Perth and Kinross

Electoral Ward: Carse of Gowrie

Traditional County: Perthshire

Description

The monument comprises the remains of an unenclosed settlement and associated souterrains, visible as cropmarks on oblique aerial photographs. The site is located in rolling arable land around 30m above sea level, to the west of Dundee and overlooking the Firth of Tay to the south.

The cropmarks, first recorded in 1983, show a small prehistoric complex including a ring ditch, the remains of a prehistoric round house, and a souterrain. The ring ditch is visible as a circular cropmark up to 25m in diameter, with some evidence for internal features also visible. The souterrain is visible as a roughly semi-circular cropmark, and measures up to 15m long.

The scheduled area is irregular. It includes the remains described above and an area around within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The national importance of the monument is demonstrated in the following way(s) (see Designations Policy and Selection Guidance, Annex 1, para 17):

a. The monument is of national importance because it makes a significant contribution to our understanding or appreciation, or has the potential to do so, as an example of an unenclosed prehistoric settlement, likely dating to the Iron Age.

b. The monument retains structural, architectural, decorative or other physical attributes which make a significant contribution to our understanding or appreciation of the past. In particular, the archaeological remains indicated by the cropmarks are likely to hold evidence for the construction, use and abandonment of the prehistoric settlement and associated souterrain. Study of the monument's form and construction techniques compared with other unenclosed settlements would enhance our understanding of the development sequence of this site and of prehistoric settlements in general.

d. The monument is a good example of a prehistoric unenclosed settlement, including a souterrain, visible as clearly identifiable cropmarks over many years, and is therefore an important representative of this monument type.

e. The monument has research potential which could significantly contribute to our understanding or appreciation of the past, in particular, it holds the potential to enhance our understanding of prehistoric settlement practices within Scotland, and there is high potential for archaeological and paleo-environmental evidence to survive in and around the monument. It has also the potential to provide information about the economy, diet and social status of the occupants as well as contemporary economy and society.

f. The monument makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the historic landscape by its prominent location and its relationship to other contemporary monuments in the surrounding area and around the Firth of Tay. It has also the potential to increase our understanding of settlement hierarchy and changing settlement patterns along the valley.

Assessment of Cultural Significance

This statement of national importance has been informed by the following assessment of cultural significance:

Intrinsic characteristics (how the remains of a site or place contribute to our knowledge of the past)

The monument is an unenclosed settlement, which has been recorded as cropmarks on oblique aerial photographs and survives as buried deposits below the ploughsoil. It was first recorded in 1983. Although no features survive above ground, the different elements of the site, (a roundhouse, souterrain and associated pits) and the overall plan of the monument is clear and understandable from the aerial photography.

Some ring-ditches have been found during excavation to represent the remains of timber roundhouses of later prehistoric (Bronze or Iron Age) date, while souterrains were semi-subterranean cellars of similar date, and are generally found in association with former timber roundhouses. The presence of the souterrains at this site suggests an Iron Age date for the complex, in common with other examples such as Newmill (Canmore ID 27006). Archaeological evidence from the site may provide valuable information on the development sequence of the site over its lifetime.

There is good potential for the survival of archaeological features and deposits, including occupation and abandonment debris, artefacts and environmental remains such as charcoal or pollen within the souterrain and the roundhouse. This monument has the potential to add to our understanding of settlement, land-use and environment during later prehistory. It has the potential to provide information about the economy, diet and social status of the occupants, as well as the structure of contemporary society and economy. Study of the monument's form and construction techniques compared with other unenclosed settlements would enhance our understanding of the development sequence of this site and of prehistoric settlements in general.

Contextual characteristics (how a site or place relates to its surroundings and/or to our existing knowledge of the past)

Prehistoric unenclosed settlements and roundhouses are found across Scotland. This particular example sits in rolling arable land overlooking the Firth of Tay to the south, and its location gives the site long views in most directions. There are also a concentration of other prehistoric archaeological sites within around 500m of this site, including two groups of souterrains, at Mylnefield and Invergowrie respectively (scheduled monuments SM6468 and SM6516), an enclosure at Invergowrie (scheduled monument SM6517), and an unenclosed settlement at East Pilmore (scheduled monument SM6519).

The monument therefore has the potential to enhance and broaden our understanding of the nature, development and the interrelationships of later prehistoric settlement, both along the valley of the River Ericht and more widely. It can add to our knowledge of social status settlement hierarchy and changing settlement patterns, as well as important connections between communities during later prehistory.

Associative characteristics (how a site or place relates to people, events, and/or historic and social movements)

There are no known associative characteristics that contribute to this site's cultural significance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

Historic Environment Scotland http://www.canmore.org.uk reference number CANMORE ID 32021 (accessed on 09/08/2019).

Local Authority HER/SMR Reference MPK5123 (accessed on 09/08/2019).

Coleman and Hunter, R and F. (2002) The excavation of a souterrain at Shanzie Farm, Alyth, Perthshire , Tayside Fife Archaeol J, vol. 8, 2002. Perth.

MacSween, A. and Sharp, M. (1989). Prehistoric Scotland. London: B.T. Batsford Ltd.

Watkins, T. (1981b) Excavation of a settlement and souterrain at Newmill, near Bankfoot, Perthshire , Proc Soc Antiq Scot, vol. 110, 1978-80.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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