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Publication Account

Date 1987

Event ID 1016985

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Publication Account

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/event/1016985

This setting oflarge boulders was excavated in 1965 and was shown to have a complex sequence of building and use comprising three main periods: a post setting of upright timber posts; a central oval arrangement of stones; and fmally the main stone circle, which surrounded the oval setting. One photograph shows the site in course of the excavation with ranging poles positioned in the horse-shoe shaped setting of post-holes; from the depth of the post-holes it can be estimated that the original timbers were probably about 2m in height At the centre of the setting there was a flat stone with a charcoal-filled hollow, perhaps a hearth.

In the second period the timbers were forgotten and eight large boulders set up in an oval (6m by 7.6m) with three outlying stones on the southern arc; the ground surface on which the boulders were set had been carefuly flattened with earth, which contained quantities of neolithic pottery. The stones were erected in shallow sockets and were supported by packingstones around their bases. One stone in the north-east arc is decorated with several small cup-markings. The stones are all of similar size (between 1.4m and 1.6m) and are set on approximately the same axis as the earlier timber horse-shoe. Probably associated with this period is the outermost line of stones on the site forming a band of massive boulders and smaller stones, broken on the north-east and south-west. On the same axis as the oval setting there is a large slab, the upper surface of which bears about twenty-three cup-markings, two of which have partial rings.

The last phase of activity on the site is represented by a circle of nine stones and two outlying stones; the circle also incorporates the three outlying stones of the earlier phase. The two impressive stones beyond the circle on the east-south-east imply a change of axis from that of the first two phases. Beyond the two stones, excavation revealed deep grave-pits, but the acid soil conditions meant that no burial remains survived.

This interesting sequence may be compared to the various phases represented at Balfarg and Balbirnie (no. 93) and illustrates the range of ritual structures in timber and stone in the neolithic and early bronze age.

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: Fife and Tayside’, (1987).

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