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Creag Na Caillich

Stone Axe Factory (Neol/bronze Age), Axehead (Stone)

Site Name Creag Na Caillich

Classification Stone Axe Factory (Neol/bronze Age), Axehead (Stone)

Alternative Name(s) Killin Axe-factory

Canmore ID 24157

Site Number NN53NE 1

NGR NN 5624 3681

NGR Description centred on

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

C14 Radiocarbon Dating

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/24157

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

  • Council Stirling
  • Parish Killin
  • Former Region Central
  • Former District Stirling
  • Former County Perthshire

Archaeology Notes

NN53NE 1 5624 3681.

(NN 5626 3683) An axe working site was located by Dr Poore on the S face of Creag na Caillich. A ridge projects S from the main mass of the hill at c.2,000'. Between this ridge and the rocky S face a saddle is covered with peat through which the rock is occasionally seen. At the present time the peat is eroded and forms hags.

In the most northerly of these hags flakes of deeply weathered hornfels have been picked up over the last 12 years and Stewart (1961) reports a vast quantity of flake materials, a few roughed-out axes, and some larger stone blocks with primary trimmings, from the site. Six squamous flakes were found together at one point in the peat, possible debris from an initial dressing. From the saddle, flakes can be tracked back up the slope in impermanent water courses.

P R Ritchie 1968

From the description given above and ground investigation the axe factory was sited at NN 5624 3681. No further finds were made in the area.

Visited by OS (RD) 11 September 1969

Stone flakes are concentrated in one very thin layer in the peat and with the datings of samples from above and below this layer, suggest that this part of the site and perhaps the whole factory was in use for a short period between about 2400 and 2300 BC in radiocarbon years, i.e. the Middle Neolithic period.

E W MacKie 1972.

NN 562 368 The site of a Neolithic stone-axe factory is indicated by flakes and roughouts which have been found on the S slopes of Creag na Caillich.

RCAHMS 1979; P R Ritchie 1968; E W MacKie 1972

This factory produced axes of calc-silicate hornfels, which are classified as group XXIV. They are locally important in Scotland, but rare elsewhere.

T H McK Clough 1988.

Two axes from this site are held in the Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow: a roughout axe (PER 9) and a flake (PER 11). The axe has no accession number but the flake is registered as HM 1969.9. Both have been petrologically attributed to group XXIV.

T H McK Clough and W A Cummins 1988.

In the period since the completion of the research at Great Langdale, Cumbria, a broadly similar project has been undertaken for the National Museum of Scotland, at the primary source of group XXIV axes on Creag na Caillich, near Killin in Perthshire.

At the most basic of levels, it is clear that both sources witnessed the production of axes alone.

The marked disparity between the two sites in terms of the scale of archaeological deposits suggests that they may also have been exploited over very different lengths of time. The entire Creag na Caillich complex is roughly equal in scale to some of the smaller exposures that make up the Group VI source.

M Edmonds 1990.

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