2,400-Year-Old Iron Age Fort Discovered In The Scottish Highlands

The remains may also have belonged to one of the area's past lords or chiefs.

The remains of a 2,400-year-old Iron Age fort have been discovered in the Scottish Highlands.
Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

The remains may also have belonged to one of the area's past lords or chiefs.

The remains of a 2,400-year-old Iron Age fort have just been discovered deep in Strathglass in the lush Scottish Highlands after loggers spotted the mysterious structure and called in archaeologists to investigate the site.

While the location was previously discovered sometime in the 1940s after a survey was taken in the area, no investigation was ever undertaken and it was swiftly forgotten about until the recent logging expedition uncovered the site once again.

Even though it is surmised that these remains were most likely that of an Iron Age fort, there is also a chance that it may have once been the home to one of the area’s past lords or chiefs.

Preliminary evidence shows that violence may also have been a feature of the building as archaeologists have concluded that the remains were set alight on two separate occasions and burned to the ground, only to have been rebuilt on both occasions, according to The Herald.

While investigating the possible Iron Age fort, archaeologists noticed a curious absence of artifacts at the site and have hypothesized that perhaps the building was only used by local people under times of great threat, which may help to explain why it was burned down twice, only to be quickly constructed again.

On the other hand, it’s highly possible that its first use would have been to have housed a lord or chief, after which it was abandoned and afterwards used only in times of great need, such as war.

Once AOC archaeology completed clearing the site of trees, it was revealed that there were four other large structures that would have been situated near the fort, along with some type of wall that is surmised to have been used for defensive purposes. Archaeologists believe that the main building would have been actively used during the Iron Age for a stretch of 600 years before being demolished repeatedly.

After sifting through the few artifacts that were found at the Scottish Highlands site, archaeologists concluded that for the time being, the various structures remain a mystery.

“The reuse of these sites and lack of considerable artifactual material suggest that these sites were nothing to do with elite settlements, but probably related to more autonomous farming communities establishing a presence and control over territory. The reuse indicates successive groups returning to the same site, although, for what purpose, it is unclear. It seems apparent that the second phase of rebuilding involved more careful reconstruction, while the third phase was a rather rapid constriction of the space for very temporary use.”

With curiosity growing over the use of this 2,400-year-old Iron Age Scottish Highlands fort, archaeologists will be undertaking further excavations to try and unravel the history of this site.