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Cave (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Duntroon

Classification Cave (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 39466

Site Number NR89NW 25

NGR NR 8004 9587

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

NR89NW 25 8004 9587.

(NR 8004 9587) Cave (NR) (Human Remains found)

OS 6" map, (1924)

A small cave was exposed in the cliff in 1862.

Its site has now been quarried away (Campbell and Sandeman 1964). Its floor was 30' OD, and just over 60 yds from high water mark. About 2' of shingle was removed from the cave floor by Mapleton (1875), revealing a hearth, bones, shells, flint scrapers and a flint nodule, while charcoal and burnt flint chips were found at the same level outside while drains were being dug. Nine skeletons were found, killed by a rock-fall which closed the cave. The present whereabouts of the finds are not known (Campbell and Sandeman 1964). They are consistent with mesolithic Obanian habitation (Lacaille 1954).

A D Lacaille 1954; M Campbell and M Sandeman 1964; R J Mapleton 1875; 1870.

This cave has been totally destroyed by quarrying.

Visited by OS (W D J) 9 May 1973.

In 1862 a small cave was discovered in the course of quarrying in the low cliffs situated on the N side of the private road leading from Duntroon Lodge to Duntrune Castle and some 220m W of the Lodge. Subsequent examination by Mapleton (Mapleton 1881) showed that the cave measured 8.5m in length, between 3m and 0.9m in width and decreased in height from 3.4m to 0.9m; it has since been destroyed. The cave appeared to have been filled by fallen debris, and several human skeletons were discovered buried beneath the rubble. One is said to have been found in a sitting posture with the bones of a woman and infant some 0.3m beneath it; 'portions of the bones and skulls of probably six more individuals, very much scattered and dislocated' were discovered 'at the bottom of the cave'. On the lowest level there lay 'a round flat stone, embedded in ash and charcoal, and very much burnt at the edges', which was identified as a hearth-stone. In addition to the human remains the debris layer contained what appeared to be traces of occupation: 'almost the entire skeleton of a red deer' was found scattered amongst quantities of seashells and the bones of a large seabird; two flint scrapers and a 'block of flint' were also recovered. It is possible that the Duntroon cave-deposits may be compared to those discovered in a cave at Raschoille, Oban, representing evidence for separate episodes of habitation and burial rather than the sudden deaths of a small group of people in a rock-fall. (Cumnock 1985; Lacaille 1954)

Visited June 1981



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