MHG981 - Chambered Cairn, Tullochs of Assery A
No summary available.
Type and Period (1)
- CHAMBERED CAIRN (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC) + Sci.Date
A well-preserved, short, horned cairn (Cat 69) one, probably the earlier of the two chambered cairns known as the Tullochs of Assery (see also ND06SE 16). Excavation by Corcoran in 1961, in advance of the raising of the level of Loch Calder, revealed an apparently unique plan of two chambers set back to back and approached by passages through the north and south facades. Finds from the excavation are in NMAS.
Visited by OS 3 November 1964; NMAS 1977.
Corcoran's excavation remains open but otherwise the cairn is well-preserved although the waters of the loch lap the margins and have caused some damage.
Visit by OS 17 August 1981.
See link below for radiocarbon dates. They were first published (uncalibrated) by Sharples in 1986. The excavations when 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 B 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 Britush Isles. <1>
A radiocarbon date from an adult male sample from this site was obtained and published in 2016 for the GENSCOT Ancient DNA project. This indicated a Neolithic date of 3641-3530 BC, calibrated to 1 sigma. <2> The radiocarbon date and DNA sample information were also included in '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 pulished. <3>
A petite tranchet derivative arrowhead of grey flint and a broken piece of a large reddish flint flake (possible part of a knife) are listed in the NMS catalogue under Acc. Nos. EO 1063 and EO 1064. <4>
Human remains from the site are within NMS collections. <5>
- --- SHG1668 Text/Publication/Article: Corcoran, J X W P. 1967. 'The excavation of three chambered cairns at Loch Calder, Caithness', Proc Soc Antiq Scot Vol. 98 1964-6, p.1-75. Proc Soc Antiq Scot. 1-75. 1-75.
- --- SHG1670 Text/Publication/Article: Corcoran, J X W P. 1962. 'The excavations of three chambered tombs in Caithness in 1961', Archaeol News Letter Vol. 7 1962, p.155-9. Archaeol News Letter. 155-9. 156-8.
- --- SHG1766 Text/Publication/Article: Cruden, S. 1961. 'Tulloch of Assery A', Discovery and Excavation in Scotland 1961, p.52-3. Discovery and Excavation in Scotland. 52-3. 52.
- --- SHG2115 Text/Publication/Volume: Davidson, JL and Henshall, A S. 1991. The chambered cairns of Caithness: an inventory of the structures and their contents. 137-9, no. 69; plan.
- --- SHG2589 Text/Report: NMAS. 1977. NMAS 23rd Annual Report. . 11.
- --- SHG2664 Text/Report: RCAHMS. 1911. The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Third report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Caithness. . 44, No. 161.
- --- SHG358 Text/Publication/Monograph: Henshall, A S. 1972. The chambered tombs of Scotland, Volume 2. 2. Paper (Original). 203-99 (passim), 552-5, 621, CAT 69; plan.
- <1> SHG1376 Text/Publication/Article: Sharples, N M. 1986. 'Radiocarbon dates from three chambered tombs at Loch Calder, Caithness', Scot Archaeol Rev Vol. 4 1986, p.2-10. Scot Archaeol Rev. 2-10. 2-10.
- <2> SHG27888 Text/Publication/Article: Sheridan. A, et al. 2016. Radiocarbon Dates Obtained for the GENSCOT Ancient DNA Project, 2016. Discovery and Excavation in Scotland. 195-198. Paper (Copy). pg 196.
- <3> SHG28225 Text/Publication/Article: Sheridan. A, et al (25 others). 2018. A summary round-up list of Scottish archaeological human remains that have been sampled/analysed for DNA as of January 2019, Discovery Excav Scot, New Series, Volume 18. Discovery and Excavation in Scotland. 1-23. Online. pp. 6.
- <4> SHG28278 Dataset/Database File: National Museums Scotland. 2019. Highland Finds from the NMS Catalogue. National Museums Scotland. Digital. EO 1063, EO 1064.
- <5> SHG28455 Dataset/Database File: 2020. Database of Human Remains in Museum Collections from Highland Area. NMS, IMAG & Marishal College. Digital.
|Grid reference||Centred ND 0682 6188 (80m by 80m) (Buffered by site type)|
- FLAKE (Neolithic - 4000 BC? to 2401 BC?)
- TRANSVERSE ARROWHEAD (Neolithic - 4000 BC? to 2401 BC?)
- HUMAN REMAINS (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2401 BC)
Related Monuments/Buildings (0)
Related Investigations/Events (0)
External Links (4)
- http://portal.historicenvironment.scot/designation/SM500 (Online designation description (Historic Environment Scotland))
- https://canmore.org.uk/c14index/7934 (Link to online Scottish Radiocarbon database)
- https://canmore.org.uk/site/7934 (ViewHES Canmore entry for this site)
- https://www.researchgate.net/publication/289238796_1986_Radiocarbon_dates_from_three_tombs_at_Loch_Calder_Caithness_Scot_Archaeol_Review_4_2-10 (Click to view online published article)
Comments and Feedback
Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.