In 1996 a number of Roman silver coins were discovered by metal detecting at Dykeside, near Birnie, Moray. The findspot lies in an area of a later prehistoric settlement known for cropmarks, on a gravel terrace. It is also within 400 m of Birnie Kirk, one of the earliest Christian sites in Moray. A limited season of fieldwork over two weekends in 1998 was carried out to assess the potential of the area. Artefacts recovered on the Dykeside site indicate activity during the Neolithic/Bronze Age, the Iron Age and the Medieval period. Trial excavation indicated good survival of sub-surface archaeology, including what appeared to be a well-preserved burnt house, and recovered dating samples. Work in the field immediately east of Birnie Kirk itself produceda much more limited range of material, as would be expected given its low-lying location. The relative lack of medieval finds provides a hint that cropmarks in the filed may be pre-medieval. Further work is planned.
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