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Oban, Macarthur Cave

Cave (Period Unassigned), Inhumation(S) (Period Unassigned), Implement(S) (Bone), Unidentified Flint(S) (Flint)

Site Name Oban, Macarthur Cave

Classification Cave (Period Unassigned), Inhumation(S) (Period Unassigned), Implement(S) (Bone), Unidentified Flint(S) (Flint)

Alternative Name(s) Mcarthur Cave

Canmore ID 23066

Site Number NM83SE 9

NGR NM 8592 3043

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

C14 Radiocarbon Dating


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

Archaeology Notes

NM83SE 9 8092 3043.

NM 8592 3043 The MacArthur Cave has come to be regarded as the type-site of the Obanian culture. It was discovered towards the end of 1894 by quarrymen and was excavated by Anderson in 1895. Removal of the talus and fallen rocks which encumbered the entrance revealed a possibly artificial, barrier of rocks, behind which the infilling reached almost to the roof. The great majority of the implements recovered were of bone, 140 of these being found. Of the stone implements recovered, only eight of flint were definable. Finds are now in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS, Accession no : HL 1-389).

During the excavation parts of the skeletons of at least four individuals were discovered. The burials, however, cannot be associated with the mesolithic material from the cave, as they were found on top of and within the thick layer of debris that sealed these deposits. Their date is not known.

A D Lacaille 1954; RCAHMS 1975; J Anderson 1895; W Turner 1895.

No traces of the cave exist.

Visited by OS (W D J) 3 December 1964.

Biserial antler barbed point (NMS HL 187) dated by radiocarbon to 4750+/- (OxA-1949), 4910-4590 cal BC.

NMRS MS/735/1.


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