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Islay, Traigh Bhan

Cist(S) (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Islay, Traigh Bhan

Classification Cist(S) (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 37518

Site Number NR27SW 18

NGR NR 2156 7000

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 Kilchoman
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes

NR27SW 18 2156 7000.

In June 1980, three cists, which had become exposed in the sand-dunes at the head of Traigh Bhan, some 2km N of

Smaull, were excavated, and the following is a summary of the published report. ' Cist 1, aligned ENE and wsw, was composed of four slabs and measured 1.05m by 0.6m and about 0.5m in depth; there was no trace of any cover slab. It contained the remains of two individuals: the bones of the earlier burial, that of a young person, possibly male, had been gathered towards one end to make way for a second interment, that of an older person, possibly female, associated with a plain Food Vessel. Radiocarbon determinations of 1380 bc?95 (ou-1378) and 1055 bc? 105 (cu-1379) were obtained from bone samples taken from the earlier and later burials respectively.

Cist 2, situated immediately adjacent to the sw end of Cist 1, was aligned NNE and SSW. It lacked the NNE end-slab, but must originally have been about 1.0m long, 0.36m wide at the SW end and 0-66 mat the NE end, and 0-4 m deep; there was no sign of a cover slab. The contents of the cist had been disturbed, but there were clearly the partial remains of two individuals, and a radiocarbon date of 1260 be f 120 (GU-1380) indicates the likely span of the interments.

Cist 3, aligned NNE and SSW, was 0-8 m long, 0-35 m broad and 0-3 m deep; the SW end-slab was missing, and, as with the other two cists, there was no sign of a cover slab. The cist contained two unworked flints, but there were no skeletal remains.

The Food Vessel and flints are now in the Museum of Islay Life, Port Charlotte; the surviving skeletal material has been

deposited in the Royal Scottish Museum.



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