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Keil Cave

Cave (Period Unassigned), Bead(S), Comb, Penannular Brooch, Pin(S), Slag, Unidentified Pottery (Roman)

Site Name Keil Cave

Classification Cave (Period Unassigned), Bead(S), Comb, Penannular Brooch, Pin(S), Slag, Unidentified Pottery (Roman)

Canmore ID 38301

Site Number NR60NE 3

NGR NR 6716 0770

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Southend
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes

NR60NE 3 6716 0770.

NR 671 077 The Big Cave, largest of a series of nine close to the shore at Keil Point, was excavated about 1934 by J Harrison Maxwell, and yielded evidence of Iron Age, Dark Ages and possibly early medieval occupation.

The cave measures about 4.6m wide at the entrance, c21.5m long and between 5.5m and 9.0m in height.

The occupation layer, 1.0m thick, and sealed between sterile natural deposits, contained scattered areas of paving but no definite sign of any structrure. Dateable finds, including 4th century imitation Samian ware (Roman), a 4th century comb (Roman) and a Roman or Romano-British weaving tablet of rather earlier date indicate that occupation began about the 3rd century AD. Other finds, including bone, flint and stone implements, iron slag, rotary quern fragments, bronze and iron pins, a bronze penannular brooch and glass beads, indicate that occupation continued, probably only intermittently, into the Dark Ages and possibly even into early medieval times (information from R B K Stevenson, NMAS).

J N G Ritchie 1969; RCAHMS 1971.

NR 6716 0771. The cave (no name known locally) is as described by the RCAHMS. No further information.

Surveyed at 1:10 000.

Visited by OS (NKB), 23 October 1977

The bronze penannular brooch noted above was donated to the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS) in 1972-3.

Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1975.


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