MHG2023 - Sandstone Vessels - Auckhorn Farm


Sandstone vessels (2) Auckhorn Farm

Type and Period (1)

  • FINDSPOT (Early Bronze Age to Early Medieval - 2400 BC? to 1057 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Two sandstone vessels, one within other, were ploughed up on Aucorn farm (Auckhorn: ND 327 598) and donated to NMAS by A H Rhind in 1853 (Acc Nos: EK 14 & EK 15). The larger vessel, flat-bottomed and with a handle at each end, measures 15" x 9.5", while other is 8.5" x 6". The smaller vessel had a stone lid which was thrown away, as were its unexamined contents. They were possibly associated with a cremation burial.
Urns of this type, of steatite and sandstone, have only been found in extreme N of Scotland. They always contain burnt bones and are therefore cinerary in character. Similar urns of steatite of later Iron Age, or early Viking period, are common in Norway (NMAS 1892).
Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1855; J Anderson 1875; NMAS 1892.

No further information. Visited by OS (A A) 8 March 1972.

Described in the NMS catalogue as of steatite, circular and with ornamantal rims. Listed under Acc. Nos. EK 14 and EK 15. Display catalogue describes them of sandstone. <1>

Alison Sheridan dates these as BA urns, and notes their forms echo regional urn types from the Northern Isles. <2>

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred ND 3269 5979 (4m by 4m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND35NW
Civil Parish WICK
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (1)

  • VESSEL (Early Bronze Age to Early Medieval - 2400 BC? to 1057 AD?)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (1)

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