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Due to scheduled maintenance work by our external provider, background aerial imagery on Canmore may be unavailable

between 12:00 Friday 15th December and 12:00 Monday 18th December


Callum's Hill, Crieff

Food Vessel

Site Name Callum's Hill, Crieff

Classification Food Vessel

Alternative Name(s) Rockmount

Canmore ID 25460

Site Number NN82SE 39

NGR NN 8742 2204

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

C14 Radiocarbon Dating


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2023.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Perth And Kinross
  • Parish Crieff
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Perth And Kinross
  • Former County Perthshire

Archaeology Notes

NN82SE 39 8742 2204.

A large bipartite Food Vessel Urn, now in the possession of Mr J Dalglish, Crieff, was found in June 1967 a few inches below the ground surface during building operations on Callum's Hill. The urn contained some charcoal and the cremated bones of three individuals, also some bones of a goat (information from Dundee Courier and Advertiser 28 June 1967).

J Dalglish 1967; A S Henshall 1968; T G Cowie 1978

The find spot, at NN 8742 2204, was pointed out by a person who was present at the time of discovery.

Visited by OS 8 August 1967.


Field Visit (22 August 1996)

This findspot is situated in the NW corner of the garden of Rockmount, a private house. Nothing was visible on the date of visit.

Visited by RCAHMS (SDB) 22 August 1996

Radiocarbon Dating (2008)

NN 874 221 The Early Bronze Age cinerary urn and cremated bones were discovered in the late 1960s (DES 1967, 36 and DES 1968, 27–8). The urn, of Enlarged Food Vessel (Vase Urn) type, was published in Trevor Cowie’s corpus of such urns (Cowie 1978). Having been in private hands for many years, the urn and cremated bone re-surfaced in Crieff in 2007 and were deposited with Perth Museum.

When initially identified in the 1960s, the bones were believed to be those of two children, a possible adult and

part of a goat. Re-examination of the remains led by Dr K McSweeney of Edinburgh University in December 2007 has concluded that only two human individuals are present. One is a child of c6 years, the other an adolescent aged 12–20, and the animal bones can only be determined as being of a sheep-sized mammal. The condition and colour of the cremated bones suggests that the bodies were burnt soon after death in a well controlled fire (with a temperature above 645oC).

No radiocarbon dating was carried out at the time of the discovery and two dates, one from each individual, have now been obtained. The dates show that the two individuals are around 4000 years old. There is a 95.4% probability that Individual 1 dates to between 2116 and 1881 BC (SUERC-18312, GU-16654, 3600±35 BP) and that Individual 2 dates to between 2191 and 1947 BC (SUERC-18313, GU-16655, 3670±35 BP).

The dates are statistically inseparable and the overlap between them indicates that both individuals could have died and been cremated and buried at or around the same time. The fact that the urn was found intact suggests that the remains were probably placed inside it at the same time and the probability is that the bones were interred simultaneously. The 14C dates represent an important addition to our dating of the Vase Urn, the earliest type of cinerary urn in use in Scotland.

Dating carried out with grant aid from Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and partnership funding from National Museums Scotland.

Cowie, T G 1978 Bronze Age Food Vessel Urns in Northern Britain, BAR Brit ser 55, 131.

Mark A Hall and Alison Sheridan (Perth Museum and Art Gallery / National Museums Scotland), 2008


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