MHG932 - Chambered Cairn, Tulloch of Assery B


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Type and Period (1)

  • CHAMBERED CAIRN (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC) + Sci.Date

Protected Status

Full Description

A well-preserved chambered round cairn (Cat 70), probably later one of two chambered cairns known as Tullochs of Assery. (See also ND06SE 9) Before excavation by Corcoran in 1961 in advance of raising of level of Loch Calder, it was a large circular, grass-covered mound, c110ft diameter and over 12ft high with no evidence of a chamber. The excavation revealed an eccentrically set chamber with an entrance passage in SE, a massive internal revetting wall and an outer wall-face of good quality masonry. Corcoran regarded cairn as being of one build but Miss Henshall suggests two phases. Finds from excavation in NMAS.
J X W P Corcoran 1967; A S Henshall 1972; NMAS 1977.

Cairn resurveyed at 1:25,000 Visited by OS 3 November 1964.

Corcoran's excavation remains open but otherwise cairn is well-preserved although water of loch lap its margins and have caused some damage.
Visited by OS 17 August 1981.

See link below for radiocarbon dates. They were first published (uncalibrated) by Sharples in 1986. The excavations where the samples were taken were undertaken in 1961, however, as radiocarbon dating was expensive and time consuming at this time, it was not until 1980 that radiocarbon dating samples from this site and the two others excavated was again considered. The close proximity of this site, Tulloch of Assery A and Tulach an t'Sionnaich and also the great difference in both architecture and burial deposits meant that some chronological guidelines for these three sites could result in a picture of the changing use of chambered tombs in the British Isles. <1>

A radiocarbon date from an adult female sample from this site was obtained and published in 2016 for the GENSCOT Ancient DNA project. This indicated a Neolithic date of 3703-3655 BC, calibrated to 1 sigma. <2> The radiocarbon date and DNA sample information were also included in the 'A summary round-up list of Scottish archaeological human remains that have been sampled/analysed for DNA as of January 2019', available online through DES. This also includes references to where the DNA results have been published. <3>

The NMS catalogue lists a leaf shaped flint arrowhead, flint scraper, 25 flakes, blades and broken pebbles of flint and a portion of bone. Under Acc. Nos. EO 1094, EO 1095, EO 1104, EO 1105 A-B. <4>

Human remains from the site are with NMS collections. <5>

Sources/Archives (12)



Grid reference Centred ND 0676 6186 (30m by 30m)
Map sheet ND06SE
Civil Parish HALKIRK
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (10)

  • SHERD (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)
  • ARROWHEAD (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)
  • BLADE (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)
  • FLAKE (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)
  • WORKED OBJECT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)
  • THUMB NAIL SCRAPER (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)
  • POINT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (4)

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