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Publication Account

Date 1985

Event ID 1018902

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Publication Account


The chambered cairn of Rubh' an Dunain is not conspicuous from a distance, being a low mound largely covered with turf and heather, but it is a very good example of a passage-grave of Hebridean type and well worth the walk. The cairn is almost circular on plan, measuring about 20m in diameter and 3m in height, but on the south-east side the edge has been recessed to form a concave forecourt with the entrance passage at its centre. Several of the kerb-stones of the forecourt remain in position, although some have now fallen, and there are still traces of the drystone walling that originally filled the gaps between the uprights. The passage itself is nearly 3m long and is still lintelled. The outer lintel had slipped a little, but the passage was obviously originally quite low and narrow at the outer end, becoming higher towards the chamber. There is a constriction in the side-walls nearly half-way in. The chamber, now roofless, is almost circular, and is walled by large upright slabs with drystone walling between.

Excavations in 1931 and 1932 showed that the cairn was built of rounded stones, probably from the beach nearby, and surrounded by a low wall of vertical slabs with walling between, similar to the interior. Pottery (including a Beaker), quartz pebbles, flint and quartz chips found in the excavations are in the NMAS. The fragmentary remains of six adults of varying ages were found.

There are several other sites on the same point: 400m to the south-east there is a small dun (NG 395159); also marked on the OS map there is a cave, excavation of which in 1932 revealed Beaker pottery and a later iron forge with slag.

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

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