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Long Cairn (Neolithic)

Site Name Lochhill

Classification Long Cairn (Neolithic)

Canmore ID 65428

Site Number NX96NE 24

NGR NX 9688 6507

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

C14 Radiocarbon Dating


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Administrative Areas

  • Council Dumfries And Galloway
  • Parish New Abbey
  • Former Region Dumfries And Galloway
  • Former District Nithsdale
  • Former County Kirkcudbrightshire

Archaeology Notes

NX96NE 24 9688 6507.

(NX 9688 6507) The long cairn at Lochhill was totally excavated between 1969 and 1971. It was situated on the N slope of a low hill. 48 m OD; before excavation it appeared as a mound, roughly trapezoidal on plan, measuring some 25 m NE-SW by 14 m and 1.7 m high, thickly covered in vegetation. The excavation revealed a slightly concave facade at the NE end; behind this lay a chamber, 2 m long. Both the chamber and forecourt area had been carefully blocked. Fragments of Neolithic pottery were recovered from the chamber and from a previous robber pit. Sherds of a beaker of Clarke's Late Northern British type were found among the stones near the top of the cairn. The cairn had been revetted by a wall, double on the NW.

The cairn overlay a timber mortuary structure and facade. The mortuary structure consisted of a rectangular area, 7.5 m by 1.4 m, cut through the pre-cairn soil to a depth of 0.12 m; its sides were lined with stones. Three large pits for wooden posts lay on the main axis of the structure. Between two of them (A and B on plan) lay the remains of a burnt oak plank floor, on which, and in the stone filling of the structure, were several deposits of cremated human bone. Masters suggests that four of the orthostats of the later chamber may also have belonged to this earlier phase, and that the building of the cairn took place not long after the burning of the mortuary structure.

A radiocarbon date of 3120 BC + 105 was obtained (old half-life, uncorrected) from a plank in the mortuary structure; applying the Bristlecone Pine correction, it appears that the structure was built early in the 4th millenium.

L Masters 1973; A S Henshall 1972; J Williams 1968

A penny of Edgar from this site was shown to Laing by Masters.

L Laing 1973


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