MHG1980 - Bronze age cist with inhumation burial - Acharole


No summary available.

Type and Period (2)

  • SHORT CIST (Early Bronze Age - 2400 BC? to 1501 BC?)
  • INHUMATION (Early Bronze Age - 2400 BC? to 1501 BC?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

ND25SW 7 2242 5165.
Bronze Age Cist found 1904 (NAT) OS 1:10,000 map, (1976)

A short cist, containing a crouched male inhumation and a beaker (Clarke's N3 type) was found by Robert Sutherland in August 1904 when excavating gravel from a small mound near standing stone ND25SW 6.
The beaker, which was broken on removal, is now in NMAS (Acc no: EG 43).
T H Bryce 1905; RCAHMS 1911; D L Clarke 1970.

The site was recorded in a painting by John Nicolson on 15.08.1904.

The site of this short cist was pointed out on ground by Mr Sinclair (No. 18 Holding, West Watten, Caithness) at ND 2242 5165, on the top of Cnoc Sgadain.
Site surveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (N K B) 25 October 1965.

There is nothing of note on the ground.
Visited by OS (J M) 11 March 1982.

The site was visited by M Hoole in 2017 in an attempt to find any evidence of the quarrying activity that had originally exposed the cist burial so that the orientation of the burial in the painting by J Nicolson could be ascertained to compare it with others. By examining the location of the cist and the nearby standing stones (see MHG1979), and comparing these to the painting, it appeared that the image must have been painted facing northwest. This meant that the individual buried inside was positioned crouched with their knees close to their chest, with their head in the east, and facing south. This is typical of male burial pattern for the period that has been identified in work by Alexandra Shepherd who has examined numerous burials from Yorkshire and Aberdeenshire which generally fit this pattern. <1>

See <2> for A Shepherd's work.

The skull, minus the mandible, is now kept at the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow. <3>

The beaker is described in the NMS catalogue as measuring 7 3/4 in. in height, 6 in. in diameter across mouth, 3 1/4 in. at base and richly decorated with five zones of crossed and oblique lines. Acquired in 1904 and listed under EG 43. <4>

Sources/Archives (7)



Grid reference Centred ND 2241 5164 (6m by 6m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND25SW
Civil Parish WATTEN
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (2)

  • BEAKER (Early Bronze Age - 2400 BC? to 1501 BC?)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (3)

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