Neolithic pottery at Culduthel section of Inverness flood scheme

Neolithic pottery shred. Pic: Ross and Cromarty Archaeological Services Grooved Neolithic pottery found at the flood relief site

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Neolithic pottery excavated ahead of work on a £16m flood scheme has added to archaeologists' understanding of a city's past.

Pits containing fragments of ceramics were recovered from the site in the Culduthel area of Inverness.

Archaeologists were brought in ahead of construction of phase three of the city's south west flood relief channel.

Iron Age weapons and a Romano-British brooch have been found previously at other sites nearby.

Ross and Cromarty Archaeological Services carried out an assessment of the flood scheme site between December 2010 and January 2011.

The archaeologists' report on what they found has been published online.

Six Neolithic pots were identified and fragments of pottery from the early to middle Neolithic and later Neolithic grooved ware were recovered.

Other finds included a piece of polished stone axe, half of a stone ball and a possible fragment of an anvil stone.

Glass beads

Culduthel is rich in archaeological sites.

Flints and prehistoric pottery were found nearby in 2009 and 2010.

Between 2005 and 2007, significant finds were made at Culduthel Mains Farm, which is now a housing development.

A high-status Iron Age metal-working site with well preserved roundhouses and iron-smelting furnaces was recorded there.

Glass beads, iron weapons and a Romano-British brooch were found along with evidence of an oval-shaped palisade enclosure nearby.

In its report, Ross and Cromarty Archaeological Services said the latest discoveries were "important evidence" to add to what was already known about Culduthel's past.

The archaeologists added that the south west side of Inverness and the Great Glen was a "very important" prehistoric landscape.

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