MHG60879 - Bronze Age Burial Ground - Pier Road, Armadale


No summary available.

Type and Period (9)

  • RING DITCH (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • STONE CIRCLE (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • TIMBER CIRCLE (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • CIST (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • PIT (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • CREMATION (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • HEARTH (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • KERB CAIRN (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • BURIAL GROUND (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

An archaeological excavation carried out in three phases was undertaken at Pier Road, Armadale, Isle of Skye on behalf of Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association by Ross and Cromarty Archaeological Services between late 2009 and early 2010. The excavations uncovered a complex Bronze Age burial site, centred around one large cist encircled by a ring of interconnected pits and three standing stones. Six further cists containing inhumation and cremation burials and pits containing cremated remains were uncovered across the site.
The ring of interconnected pits has been interpreted as a dismantled timber post circle followed by a stone circle. It was unclear whether the three in situ standing stone were remnants of this, or whether they were re-erected afterwards. The construction of the cists and cremation pits are suggested to have occurred after the dismantling of the stone circle due to the positioning of one cist within the centre of this monument and another within one of the stone holes. A kerb cairn, positioned to the north of the main burial site, has been interpreted as the final closing phase of the site.
The presevation of human remains at the site was incredibly poor, but three decorated food vessels and fragments of a fourth decorated pot were recovered from the cists. These indicated an Early Bronze Age date. Other finds from the cists included a fragments of stone wrist guard, three barbed and tanged arrowheads and to serrated knives.
Two features possibly predating the burial site were also identified. One was a hearth or flagged surface below cist two, and the other was stone structure covered by a small cairn below the south west side of the dismantles stone circle. Both lay at a greater depth than the main burial site and on top of a possible earlier ground surface. <1>

A suite of radiocarbon dates returned mostly Early Bronze Age dates. The results and disussion of the post-excavation work from the excavations is expected in forthcoming final publication on the site. GW 14/08/19

21 radiocarbon dates from the site were pubished in the Journal Radiocarbon in 2016. Bayesian modelling suggested that mortuary activity at the site began in the Early Bronze Age in 2220–1985 cal BC and ended in 1880–1660 cal BC (calibrated at 95% probability). The span of activity during this burial component was estimated to be 140–520 yrs with burial perhaps being infrequent, occurring once or twice every human generation. <2>

The excavation assembalge was submitted to Treasure Trove (TT 164/12) and allocated to Inverness Museum. Ownership of the assemblage was subsequently transferred to The Museum of the Isles. <3> <4> <5>

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred NG 6367 0384 (22m by 36m)
Map sheet NG60SW
Geographical Area SKYE AND LOCHALSH
Civil Parish SLEAT

Finds (10)

  • CREMATION (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • BARBED AND TANGED ARROWHEAD (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • KNIFE (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • FLAKE (Bronze Age - 2400 BC? to 551 BC?)
  • SHERD (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • VESSEL (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • HAMMERSTONE (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • ARM GUARD (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (1)

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