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Oronsay, Druim Arstail

Ship Burial (Viking)(Possible)

Site Name Oronsay, Druim Arstail

Classification Ship Burial (Viking)(Possible)

Canmore ID 37808

Site Number NR38NE 19

NGR NR 364 889

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/37808

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Colonsay And Oronsay
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes

NR38NE 19 364 889.

What may have been the site of a Viking burial was excavated by M Buchanan in 1912 (Hunterian Museum Archive P 30 {Bu}). On the top of a low mound with a dished summit created by erosion was a ring of stones about 6.1m in diameter. The stones, which stood or lay around the margin of the summit, measured up to 0.6m by 0.3m by 0.05m and their arrangement may have resembled that of the Viking burials at Kiloran Bay, Colonsay, and Ballinaby, Islay. Among the stones of the S face of the mound were a bronze ringed pin of Viking date, half a blue bead (whose present locations are unknown), a fragment of jet, probably from a bracelet, two bronze nails, a rivet and various other fragments of bronze which are now in the Hunterian Museum (Accession no: B.1951.1909/1; 1891/38; 1891/21; 1891/37; 1896/2 and 3).

No evidence of a grave was discovered. About 100m to the NE Buchanan found several hundred iron rivets; this probably indicates a boat, but no other material which might suggest a boat-burial has been recovered. Specimens are in Royal Museum of Scotland (RMS/NMAS) (Accession no: HP 703) and Hunterian Museum (Accession no: B1951.1891/17; 1891/23; 1891/26; 1897/2).

RCAHMS 1984, visited June 1981; Hunterian Museum Archive P 30 (Bu).

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