A Cist and Carinated Beaker at Drumnadrochit

beakerFollowing on from AOC's Inverness team’s excavation of a Bronze Age cist containing an inhumation on the site of the new Drumnadrochit Medical Centre in 2015 (read about it here), AOC's archaeologists were called back to an adjacent site in 2017.

The 2017 fieldwork at Drumnadrochit, conducted on behalf of Compass Building and Construction Services, involved evaluation and watching brief on a site for a mixed-use development. It uncovered areas of significant prehistoric archaeology containing prehistoric pottery, burnt plant remains and a collection of stone tools including a flint scraper were identified.

Unsurprisingly, the site clearance work also uncovered a short, stone-lined cist under a sandstone capstone. Measuring approximately 0.80m x 0.45m, NE-SW, it was lined with thin stone slabs and measured 0.55m deep. Once the ingressed soil layer was excavated, a cobbled floor was revealed, upon which a small decorated pot was sitting in the east corner of the cist. 

The pot (right), a grave good, is a small beaker with simple incised geometric decoration. Initial analysis suggests that it is a Weak Carinated/Low Carinated Beaker; the simple decoration is fairly typical of this type of beaker in Scotland. Most examples date to between 2200-1900 cal BC. Further analysis of the pot and samples taken will confirm, amongst other things, the dating and whether the pot contained a particular substance at the time of burial. 

Cist montage

 (L) the cist before excavation, and (centre) during excavation; (R)the beaker lying on the cobbled floor of the cist