In 2005, Headland Archaeology
excavated a site at Culduthel Farm on the southern outskirts of Inverness.
What was initially a small-scale excavation of a palisaded enclosure turned
into a major discovery when the works revealed a well-preserved craft
production centre with large-scale roundhouses, multiple workshops
containing iron smelting furnaces and glass and bronze-working hearths. The
extensive artefactual assemblage contained a rich range of material
including craftworking tools, working waste and finished items.
The site is highly significant for the study of the Scottish Iron Age and
paints a detailed picture of the craft processes at play in the community,
their contacts and networks for the procurement of raw materials and
exchange of utilitarian and exotic objects. Archaeological analysis of the
site informs wider research topics for the Iron Age in Scotland,
illuminating the contact between Scotland and Rome in the early 1st
Millennium ad and adding to our knowledge of how status was defined and
displayed at this time.
Culduthel brings together 20 years of
painstaking research into the finds to share extraordinary insights into
life between 200 BC and AD 200 in the Moray Firth.’
– Susy Macaulay (Press and Journal, ‘Sophisticated, artistic,
well-travelled: what the Culduthel dig tells us about pre-historic
An Iron Age Craftworking Centre in North-East Scotland by Candy Hatherley
and Ross Murray (2021) (pdf)