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Kilmore, Dalineun

Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Site Name Kilmore, Dalineun

Classification Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Alternative Name(s) Dalnaneum

Canmore ID 22934

Site Number NM82NE 8

NGR NM 8799 2670

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Kilmore And Kilbride
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll


Excavation (1970 - 1971)

NM 879267.

A preliminary season's excavation at the chambered cairn at Dalineun, Loch Nell South (ARG 3), was devoted to an examination of the S half of the front kerb and blocking of the chamber and to an attempt to establish the relationship between the chamber and a massive cist also visible in the cairn. The chamber yielded sherds of neolithic and Beaker pottery and a flint knife or arrowhead. Under the blocking in front of the chamber was an unusual setting of four upright boulders; it is hoped that their purpose will become clearer with the examination of the N half of the blocking in 1971 (DES 1970, 63).


The final season's excavation at the chambered cairn at Dalineun, Loch Nell South (ARC 3) concentrated on an examination of the N half of the blocking of the tomb and on tracing the perimeter of the cairn. The sequence of phases on the site cannot be completely proved by stratigraphy, and the scheme outlined here is tentative; it begins with the construction of the Clyde-type, chamber in a heel-shaped cairn bounded by a boulder kerb. It seems likely that before access to the chamber was blocked in any way, a cist was built in a pit dug into the old land-surface immediately in front of the entrance to the chamber; both the cist and the pit contained deposits of cremated bone. A semi-circular area of blocking was subsequently laid in front of the tomb and over the cist, with the stones of the facade possibly being re-used as a boulder kerb to the blocking. The massive cist lying behind the chamber appears to have been inserted into the cairn material. It is possible that a Food Vessel and a quantity of cremated bone found disturbed nearby may originally have formed part of the burial deposit in this cist, which was found on excavation to be completely filled with modern debris (DES 1971, 58).


Field Visit (8 September 1971)

As described.

Surveyed at 1:2500 scale.

Visited by OS (R D) 8 September 1971.

Desk Based Assessment (20 January 1977)

NM82NE 8 8799 2670.

(NM 8799 2670) Chambered Cairn (NR)

OS 1:10,000map, (1977)

This Clyde type chambered cairn is oval on plan, measuring 18 by 15 metres with the longer axis aligned NE-SW. Although severely robbed of its stone, the grass-covered remains still stand to a height of 1.25 metres. In the centre a chamber is exposed and behind it the tops of the slabs of a large cist protrude above the turf.

The cairn was excavated by the RCAHMS in 1970-1, and four distinct phases in construction were noted. In the first phase, the main burial chamber was constructed within a heel-shaped cairn. The chamber itself measures 2.5 by 1.2 metres internally and is up to 1.4 metres in height. It consists of six larger slabs roofed by a massive capstone. Two of the stones are entrance portals, the lintel stone for which was found dislodged outside the tomb. The chamber had been divided into two compartments, but though the sockets for the dividing slab survive, the slab itself has been lost. Deposits within the chamber included two sherds of Neolithic pottery, flint flakes and sherds of three beaker vessels.

In the second phase, a small cist, 0.6 by 0.4 metres and 0.3 metres in depth was inserted into a pit in front of the entrance to the chamber. Cremated bones were found throughout the gravel fillings of the cist and the pit.

In the third phase, a semicircular blocking of stones was piled in front of the tomb giving the cairn the oval shape visible today.

Finally, in the fourth phase, a further cist was inserted into a hollow dug into the existing cairn, two metres behind the main chamber. This massive cist measures 0.86 by 0.85 metres and is 1 metre in depth. Cremated bones and a food vessel were found close to the north side of this cist.

All finds from the site are now in the NMAS.

Information from OS (RMB) 20 January 1977

Sources: RCAHMS 1975 (visited August 1971); A S Henshall 1972 (visited 3 November 1962); J N G Ritchie 1974.

Watching Brief (February 2010 - July 2010)

Watching briefs were kept in February and July 2010 during the excavation of trenches at several locations along a power line around Loch Feochan to the S of Oban, during work related to its refurbishment. Replacement pole trenches were located at NM 86210 27458, NM 87711 27393, NM 88061 26987, NM 88302 24777, NM 89093 24659, NM 89315 24359 and NM 85714 25710. A stay trench was excavated at NM 88064 26938 and a cable trench dug between the pole at NM 88061 26987 and a house at NM 88056 26975. The overhead line was replaced by an underground one between NM 83012 23301 and NM 82968 23223.

Nothing of archaeological significance was found in any of the trenches.

Archive and report: RCAHMS and WoSAS

Funder: Scottish and Southern Energy plc

John Lewis – Scotia Archaeology


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