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Inhumation(S) (Bronze Age), Short Cist(S) (Bronze Age), Animal Remains (Bone)(Bronze Age), Beaker (Pottery)(Bronze Age), Bowl (Pottery)(Bronze Age), Dagger (Bronze)(Bronze Age), Food Vessel(S) (Pottery)(Bronze Age)

Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Perth And Kinross
  • Parish Kinross
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Perth And Kinross
  • Former County Kinross-shire

Archaeology Notes

NT19NW 9 127 988.

NT 127 988. Three short cists were discovered in a field immediately N of Gairneybank Farm and adjacent to the A 90, in October 1970, during operations connected with the M 90 motorway. All three were aligned roughly WSW-ENE, with the skulls at the WSW end. In addition to the remains of skeletons, one cist contained a bronze knife-dagger and a small pottery bowl with perforated lugs and cord decoration, and another a food vessel. All three cists showed different constructional techniques: one made of four large slabs, one partially slab and partially dry- stone, and one comparable to the latter but with clay luting. The artifacts found (Two Early Bronze Age pots and Bronze Knife) were purchased for the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS).

D V Clarke and J N G Ritchie 1970; Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1974.

A fourth cist was discovered several days later than the group of three. It was unfortunately disturbed and subsequently destroyed by bulldozer activity. However, a substantial part of a Beaker was rescued from this cist.

An additional cist had been discovered in the area in about 1960 during the construction of a silage pit, located 14 m north-east of cist 3 and 8m north of the approximate position of cist 4. This cist contained a Food Vessel which was incorporated into the collection at the Kirkcaldy Museum.

The cup from cist 1 (described as having four small handles and decorated all over with impressed cord and 'maggots' (X.EQ 795)), the bronze knife-dagger from cist 1 (described as having one surviving rivet hole and traces of two others (X.EQ 796)), the food vessel from cist 2 (described as vase shaped, almost intact and decorated all over the body with random tooth comb impressions (X.EQ 797)), and the animal bones from cist 3 (thought to be pig bones representing a substantial joint of pork (X.2009.122.2)), a sample of clay luting and fragments of the limestone cist slabs from cist 3 (X.2009.122.1), as well as the Beaker from cist 4 (described as restored from sherds, dark reddish in colour and decorated with boldly incised, of alternate pendant and upright, triangles filled with cross hatching (X.EQ 798)) are all listed in the National Museums Scotland database.

Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1991.

The individual associated with cist 3, believed likely to be that of a young male aged around 21 years (or between 17-25), was included in the analysis of the large-scale Beaker People project published in 2019. This individual (given the code SK8 by the project) was dated to a 14C date of 2140–1920 (cal BC at 95% confidence), was thought to have a stature of 175.7 cm (radius), and was described as buried in a cist with an ENE/WSW alignment, lying on their back - or possibly on their right side - with their head in the W. A sample of mandible was taken for carbon, nitrogen, strontium and sulphur isotope analysis. This individual’s strontium isotope ratio (0.7073) was one of the three lowest in Scotland and was inconsistent with the Devonian sandstone of, not only the region in which they were buried, but of Devonian sandstone of either northern or southern Scotland. The authors suggested that this individual appears to have originated in a region of basaltic rocks. Although this individual’s oxygen isotope value (16.6%o) does not align with the Tertiary Volcanic Province on the western seaboard where the majority of basalts are found, they are consistent with the isotope profile of County Antrim in Northern Ireland.

J Montgomery, J Evans and J Towers 2019.


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