MHG3782 - Cist w finds, Culduthel Mains


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • SHORT CIST (Early Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 1501 BC) + Sci.Date

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NH64SE 30 6639 4189.

On 9th August 1928, a Bronze Age short cist was discovered in a sandpit in a gravel knoll near the farmsteading of Culduthel, about three miles south of Inverness and one mile east of the River Ness. The cist contained a crouched female skeleton, now in the Anatomical Museum of the University of Aberdeen, a necklace or girdle of jet, including a V-perforated toggle (since made up into a necklace), a small flake of obsidian a fragment of a bronze awl, and pieces of charcoal. The necklace and awl are in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland.
A Low 1929.

NH 6639 4189. The farmer at Mains of Culduthel pointed out the site of this find, the discovery of which he himself witnessed. The sand pit is now being filled in.
Visited by OS (J L D) 22 March 1962.

A radiocarbon date for the human skeletal material from the cist was obtained and published in 2006 and part of the Beaker People Project: Scottish Samples. This indicated a Early Bronze Age date of 2140-2030 BC calibrated to 1 sigma. <1>

The jet necklace from the burial has been re-identified as a belt of disc and fusiform beads. <2>

The awl fragment was catalogued and photographed as part of the North Kessock & District Local History Society and Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands (ARCH) collaborative 'Feats of Clay' Project, which was focused on Bronze Age metalworking around the Moray Firth. It was assigned an Early Bronze Age date. <3>

The belt is listed under Acc. No. EQ 375 and the awl under EQ 376 in the NMS catalogue. <4>

The human remains are listed in the University of Aberdeen Museums catalogue, under Acc. No. ABDUA: 14221. A bead, obsidian, lava (likely the charcoal) and cannel coal or jet are also listed under Acc. Nos. ABDUA: 64956-64959. These can be searched on their online catalogue. <5>

Isotope analysis of the human remains has shown that the individual came from somewhere outside of northern Scotland, possibly from western or southern Britain, and osteological analysis has shown that she had Schmorl’s nodes on her spine, which could have been caused naturally or through trauma. Her jet belt is unique. She is one of the few wealthy female Beaker burials from northeastern Scotland. <6>

Sources/Archives (9)



Grid reference Centred NH 6638 4188 (4m by 4m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH64SE
Geographical Area INVERNESS

Finds (7)

  • BEAD (Early Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 1501 BC)
  • AWL (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • PLANT MACRO REMAINS (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • FLAKE (Early Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 1501 BC)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Early Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 1501 BC) + Sci.Date
  • BELT (Early Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 1501 BC)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (1)

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