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?)
- None recorded
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>
- --- Text/Publication/Article: Bryce, T H. 1905. 'Notes (1) on a human skeleton found in a cist with a beaker urn at Acharole, West Watten, Caithness; and (2) on the cranial form associated with that type of ceramic', Proc Soc Antiq Scot Vol. 39 1904-5, p.418-38. Proc Soc Antiq Scot. 418-38. 418-24.
- --- Text/Publication/Volume: Clarke, D L. 1970. Beaker pottery of Great Britain and Ireland. Vol. 2, 516, No. 1606.
- --- Text/Report: RCAHMS. 1911. The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Third report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Caithness. . 134, No. 484.
- <1> Interactive Resource/Webpage: Hoole, M. 2017. Secrets of the stones: finding the Acharole cist burial. Digital.
- <2> Text/Publication/Article: Shepherd, A.. 2012. Stepping out together: men, women and their Beakers in time and space. Is there a British Chalcolithic?: People, Place and Polity in the later Third Millennium (Prehistoric Society Research Paper 4).
- <3> Interactive Resource/Webpage: The Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery. Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery online catalogue. Digital. GLAHM B.1922.1.
- <4> Dataset/Database File: National Museums Scotland. 2019. Highland Finds from the NMS Catalogue. National Museums Scotland. Digital. EG 43.
|Grid reference||Centred ND 2241 5164 (6m by 6m) (Buffered by site type)|
- 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)
- http://collections.gla.ac.uk/ (Link to the on-line catalogue of the Hunterian Museum collections)
- https://achavanichbeakerburial.wordpress.com/2017/08/11/secrets-of-the-stones-finding-the-acharole-cist-burial/ (Link to relevant page on the Achavanich Beaker burial website)
- https://canmore.org.uk/site/8804 (View RCAHMS Canmore entry for this site)
Comments and Feedback
Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.