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Cist(S) (Prehistoric)

Site Name Golspie

Classification Cist(S) (Prehistoric)

Canmore ID 6569

Site Number NC80SW 18

NGR NC 8344 0030

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

C14 Radiocarbon Dating


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

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Golspie
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Sutherland
  • Former County Sutherland

Archaeology Notes

NC80SW 18 8344 0030.

(NC 8344 0030) Short Cist found AD 1956 (NAT)

OS 6" map, (1969)

In September 1956 during sand quarrying, an unusual cist containing an unburnt contracted skeleton was found. The cist was pear-shaped, measuring 4ft by 2 1/2ft, with sides built of five or six courses of flat slabs and covered with a single slab.

Shortly afterwards a second cist was discovered 6ft from the first. This was more rectangular in shape, built of slabs on edge and the top levelled with up to two courses of flat slabs. Two flat slabs covered this cist which also measured 4ft by 2 1/2ft. The contents comprised an unburnt contracted skeleton, a deposit of charcoal mixed with burnt bone, some of which at least is animal, two pieces of unburnt animal bone, one of which has been twice cut with a knife, a pumice pendant, and some frag- ments of a small clay mould or moulds.

The skeleton from the first cist was removed by Professor R D Lockhart and taken to Marischal College, Aberdeen. The second cist was excavated by Dr I D Pennie of Golspie, the skeleton sent to Professor Lockhart and the other finds to the National Museum of Antiquities.

Woodham visited the site at the end of October and examined the area for further burials without success.

A A Woodham 1956; A A Woodham and J Mackenzie 1959.

The findspot of the two cists was pointed by Dr I D Pennie (Main

Street, Golspie), the excavator.

Site surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (R B) 19 February 1966.

Four fragments of clay moulds and a perforated pumice rubber were donated to the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS) by the Duke of Sutherland (Accession nos: EQ 624-8).

Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1963.

The clay moulds are presumably of Iron Age or Dark Age date.

J Close-Brooks et al 1980.


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