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Rum, Papadil

Rock Shelter, Shell Midden (Prehistoric)(Possible), Unidentified Pottery (Prehistoric)(Possible), Vessel (Copper)

Site Name Rum, Papadil

Classification Rock Shelter, Shell Midden (Prehistoric)(Possible), Unidentified Pottery (Prehistoric)(Possible), Vessel (Copper)

Alternative Name(s) Rhum

Canmore ID 87765

Site Number NM39SE 17

NGR NM 36535 92405

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Small Isles
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Lochaber
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Archaeology Notes

NM39SE 17 365 923.

An extensive shell midden site has been located c 200m due N of the loch at Papadil, Rum at c 50m OD. The site is situated among the boulders of the scree slope at the back of the Papadil glen.

The scree slope includes many very large boulders, with voids between them. The midden lies under one of these boulders in a natural cave and extends outside for c 4m. It is difficult to estimate size, but it must cover a minimum area of at least 8m by 8m. When visited, the site was under bracken and there were few clear exposures of midden on the surface, but it was clearly visible between and under the stones. The cave mouth faces S; it is c lm high, by about 2m by 1.5m inside and it is currently used by goats.

The midden is dark in colour and of a rich organic texture; it contains large quantities of shells. including limpets, and a few bones. In 1993 five small sherds of coarse pottery were collected from the cave area. together with a fragment of copper alloy (?vessel). In 1994 a larger portion of a small round bottomed pot with an everted rim and impressed decoration was recovered from the surface of the midden between two stones inside the cave. It is difficult to find parallels for this vessel, but it would seem to be of Iron Age or later date.

C Wickham-Jones and D Millar 1994.


Field Visit (12 October 2010)

This rock shelter lies beneath a huge boulder close to the W edge of a scree slope above the N end of Loch Papadil. The site is generally as described by Wickham-Jones and Millar in 1994, except that there appears to be a rough drystone wall drawn across the mouth of the shelter, partly buried by the accumulation of midden material against it on both sides. Within the wall the midden material reaches a depth of at least 0.4m.

Visited by RCAHMS (SDB, ARG) 12 October 2010.


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