MHG411 - Long Cist, Stain


No summary available.

Type and Period (2)

  • LONG CIST (Early Iron Age to Early Medieval - 550 BC to 1057 AD)
  • BURIAL GROUND (Early Iron Age to Early Medieval - 550 BC to 1057 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A long-cist cemetery occupying a 300 yd long sandy mound, and comparable with Ackergill (ND35SW 12) and other cemeteries of the pre-Viking Iron Age. (See also ND36SW 21)
S Laing 1866; Name Book 1872; NMAS 1892; A J H Edwards 1926; P Ashmore 1981.

There is neither trace nor local knowledge of these cists.
Visited by OS 8 September 1965

This site was re-appraised along with the other cemetery sites in the area using Society of Antiquaries of Scotland manuscripts, and published sources, by Anna Ritchie. <1>

17 stone implements, a fragment of a dog’s jaw bone and limpet shells from Stain, Keiss were donated to the NMS by Samuel Laing in 1865 (GJ 156- GJ 173). It is unclear if they are related to the long-cist cemetery identified in this area as they are only described as from 'Stain, Keiss, Caithness'. Further investigation is needed. <2>

The NMS contains 5 human skulls from 'the Burial Mound, Keiss' which is assumed to be this site. The skulls were presented to the NMS in 1867 by Samuel Laing and are accessioned under numbers ET 56- ET 60. <3> <4>

One of the skulls (no.5, ET 59) has undergone DNA analysis. Another has been radiocarbon dated (no. 7) and this will be published in 2020 volume of DES. <5> <4>

The 7 sets of human remains discovered during Samuel Laing's investigations of the Burial Mound, Keiss are described by anatomist T.H. Huxley. <6> <7>

Sources/Archives (12)



Grid reference Centred ND 3442 6031 (157m by 353m)
Map sheet ND36SW
Civil Parish WICK
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (3)

  • HUMAN REMAINS (Pictish to Early Medieval - 300 AD? to 1057 AD?)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (3)

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