• The land before symbol stones: a geophysical survey of Rhynie, Aberdeenshire and the excavation of a Middle Bronze Age structure near the Craw Stane, Barflat

      Gondek, Meggen M.; Noble, Gordon; Ramsay, Susan; Sheridan, Alison; University of Chester; University of Aberdeen; Freelance archaeobotanical specialist (Susan-Ramsay.co.uk); National Museums of Scotland (Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 2015)
      The Rhynie Environs Archaeological Project (REAP) was initiated in 2005 as a three year (Phase 1) programme of research and fieldwork based in and around the village of Rhynie; the main aim was to study the landscape context of an important group of Pictish symbol stones. Eight symbol stones are known from the village, including one, the Craw Stane, which is likely to be in its original position. A series of cropmark features have also been identified surrounding the ‘Craw Stane,’ and the substantial early medieval remains are set within an area rich with prehistoric monuments. This article outlines the results of geophysical survey and a small targeted excavation conducted in 2005-2006. The surveys included a substantial gradiometer and a smaller resistivity survey that aimed to characterise and explore the extent and survival of archaeology around the symbol stone findspots. The results showed several discrete anomalies; one of these was targeted by a small-scale excavation and proved to be a burnt Middle Bronze Age timber structure. The article highlights the survey and excavation within its landscape context and provides a summary excavation report with specialist reports for the MBA building.