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Publication Account

Date 1985

Event ID 1018860

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Publication Account


Nether Largie Mid Cairn is both ruinous and unhelpfully displayed; it is about 30m in diameter within a kerb of big stones, but excavation-debris masks much of the perimeter. Two cists were found when the cairn was excavated in 1929. That on the north, its position now indicated by four concrete posts, was empty; its side-slabs had carefully grooved slots into which the end-slabs had been placed. The southern cist is still visible, its capstone supported on steel bars to allow the interior to be seen, but it too was empty when excavated. There is a single cup-mark and axe-marking on its north-west end-slab.

Nether Largie North cairn is an impressive, though largely reconstructed, bowl-shaped mound about 20m in diameter and 3m in height; a cist at its centre is approached through a hatch with steps down into a viewing chamber. The cist is 1.6m by 0.65m and about 0.6m deep, but, when excavated in 1930, only one tooth, a few fragments of charcoal and a little ochre were found. What is remarkable about the cist, however, is that two of the slabs have been carefully decorated: one end-slab has representations of two distinctive axe-heads, while on the underside of the capstone there are at least ten axe-heads and about forty cup-markingsi it is likely that the cup-markings were the earliest decoration on the slab, for some of them seem to have been made shallower by the carving of the axes.

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: Argyll and the Western Isles’, (1985).

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