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Boreray, An Corran

Cist(S) (Period Unassigned), Human Remains (Period Unassigned), Midden(S) (Period Unassigned), Township (Period Unassigned), Pin(S) (Bronze), Rivet(S) (Iron), Unidentified Pottery

Site Name Boreray, An Corran

Classification Cist(S) (Period Unassigned), Human Remains (Period Unassigned), Midden(S) (Period Unassigned), Township (Period Unassigned), Pin(S) (Bronze), Rivet(S) (Iron), Unidentified Pottery

Canmore ID 10387

Site Number NF88SE 1

NGR NF 856 806

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

C14 Radiocarbon Dating


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Western Isles
  • Parish North Uist
  • Former Region Western Isles Islands Area
  • Former District Western Isles
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Archaeology Notes

NF88SE 1 856 806

(Area: NF 858 803) Traces of five or six dwellings were found near An Corran, at the SE corner of Boreray, on a stretch of sandhills 400 yards in length.

Other finds included kitchen midden remains in the form of shells, bones and fragments of ancient pottery a few iron rivets (several of Viking type) and a probable gun-flint. From a few bronze pins examined, of many said to have been found here, only two are earlier than medieval type (c/f NF88SE 5, which may refer to these pins).

E Beveridge 1911.

Concentrations of midden material, most of it unlikely to be of any great age, were found at NF 8554 8082, NF 8559 8072 and NF 8576 8046, in the area of sandhills N of An Corran. Fragmentary building remains occur in the same area.

Visited by OS (J T T) 31 June 1965.

71. RMS GT 127. Square-facetted or bramble-headed pin, with impressed dots on head.

72. RMS GT 126. Square-facetted or bramble-headed pin, very corroded. 73. RMS GT 129. Square-facetted or bramble-headed pin.

L R Laing 1973.


Excavation (October 1997 - November 1997)

NF 8576 8051 In 1996 cist-like structures containing human remains had been reported as being exposed in a cliff section of An Corran. Archaeological recording and excavation of remains exposed in the cliff face of this uninhabited island took place in October-November 1997. At least three cist-like structures were recorded, as well as a small corbelled structure and a house which lies at a lower level in the cliff face.

A gridded surface collection of bone and artefacts scattered at the foot of the cliff was undertaken. Two cists and the small corbelled structure, identified as being at greatest risk of erosion, were excavated. The two cists each contained the well-preserved remains of an adult male. One of these was a contracted inhumation in a small cist, and the other lay in a flexed position in a long cist.

Most of the fill of the small corbelled structure had been eroded, but within the surviving lower deposits were animal bones (young cattle). A pit cut into the deposits and capped with a stone contained the remains of (probably one) calf. The burials and corbelled structure may be later Iron Age.

An interim report has been lodged with the NMRS.

Sponsor: Historic Scotland

J Downes and A Badcock 1998.


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