In April, archaeological monitoring was undertaken by Dr Clare Ellis of Argyll Archaeology Ltd during the removal of topsoil from the footprint of a new house and its associated acccess track at Low Nerabus, Islay. This work was required as a condition of planning consent because the proposed new house was located in a landscape populated with numerous recorded sites and monuments related to several periods of activity, though there was a noticeable preponderance of features associated with prehistoric and medieval occupation. Monitoring releaved a small suite of probable Neolithic features and deposits, including two hearth pits, a couple of stakeholes and a spread of occupation material. In addition, a 19th century cobble track and a rectangle of cobbles were also recorded.
The prehistoric features on the site comprised an occupation deposit which filled a shallow depression. This deposit was fully excavated, process that a few angular stones and a few flakes of flint (including pieces of flint beach pebble). Removal of this deposit revealed two small postholes or stakeholes, and two possible shallow gullies, which may have represented the setting of a linear timber. To the southeast side of the occupation deposit were two pit-hearths, both of which produced small rounded pebbles that may have been used as polishers, while the lower fill of the larger hearth also produced two sherds of burnt flint.
Post-medieval material identified within the monitored area included a rectangle of loosely-packed large rounded cobbles that say directly on the natural red silt subsoil. A dark brown to black silt loam containing a few sherds of 19th century blue and white transfer printed ware occurred between the cobbles, and it is postulated that this feature represents the stance for a haystack. A spread of small beach cobbles was also noted, corresponding to the line of a track depicted on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey map of 1882.