Highlands & Islands

'Intriguing' 1750s horse burial found in Rosemarkie

Horse burial site. Pic: Copyright of Ross and Cromarty Archaeological Services
Image caption The horse's skull along with a number of other bones were recovered

A horse burial site uncovered by chance during a survey of land for a proposed new house has intrigued archaeologists.

The animal's skull and a selection of other bones were excavated at the plot in Rosemarkie, in Ross-shire.

Ross and Cromarty Archaeological Services has dated the remains to about 1750 because of a glass bottle from that time also found at the site.

Analysis of the bones suggested the small horse was not butchered for dog food nor its bones used to make glue.

It is the first horse burial site to be listed on Highland Council's Historic Environment Record database.

Mary Peteranna, an archaeologist involved in the survey, described the find as "intriguing" but added it would never be known why only a selection of the horse's skeleton was buried.

In April this year, trenches were dug on the plot in Marine Terrace by archaeologists because of its position close to the site of an early monastery.

Archaeological remains have also been found in the wider area.

Ms Peteranna said the horse bones were found by chance as there was no evidence, or record of, a burial on the plot.

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