Remains of a Stone Age camp that was inhabited in the far north of Scotland around 8,000 years ago have been discovered during the upgrade of a notorious stretch of the A9 trunk road.
It is thought the seasonal camp may have been used around 6,000BC with a number of flints and other small tools, used for hunting and the preparation of animal hides, discovered.
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The remains of small shelters and fires were found near Berriedale Braes and could have been left behind by the earliest inhabitants of Caithness, archaeologists believe.
Transport Secretary Michael Matheston, who visited the site to view the archaeological finds, said: “The finds unearthed here at Berriedale Braes are truly fascinating and provide a rare glimpse into Scotland’s ancient past.
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"Indeed, the archaeologists believe the finds are all that survive of some of the earliest traces of humans to have lived in the area and provide evidence of life in the far north of Scotland thousands of years ago.
“The discoveries which could have remained uncovered had works not progressed on the A9 Berriedale Braes project underline the importance of the value we place on meeting our environmental obligations as we plan and construct essential new infrastructure.”
The discoveries were made as work progressed to remove a dangerous hairpin bend on the stretch of road.
The archaeological finds will be displayed for the public to view at Dunbeath Heritage Museum in the coming weeks.