Balvattie Enclosed Settlement
Aerial photography (see below) shows crop marks indicating the existence of a former enclosed and possibly defended settlement with several ditches and pits; field walking has found considerable amounts of medieval pottery and slag in the area. (On the map of project locations, Balvattie settlement is referred to as Gilchrist settlement, however as it is located on Balvattie Farm near Balvattie Cottage we now prefer the name Balvattie enclosed settlement).
Current interpretation is that this may represent a late prehistoric or possibly medieval homestead surrounded by an outer ditch, to the south of Gilchrist church. Excavation will remove the topsoil and try and delimit and evaluate any surviving features. The site is close to another kettle hole (now full of wet marsh) and there may be a relationship between the site and the presence of standing water.
Above: Gilchrist, oblique aerial view, taken from the NE, centred on the cropmarks of a possible enclosure and a round house (RCAHMS).
Above: Location of trenches for the 2018 excavation. Below: 3D models of excavation trenches by James McComas.
Above and Below: Aerial quadcopter views of the area by Andy Hickie - Summer 2018.