The Modern Antiquarian. Ancient Sites, Stone Circles, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic Mysteries

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Fiddlers Hill (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Fiddlers Hill</b>Posted by A R Cane A R Cane Posted by A R Cane
4th September 2015ce

Druim Dubh (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Ah, Sleat .... at last. Yeah, this is the first occasion I've ventured forth upon Skye's southern-most, less mountainous peninsular. A sorry state of affairs that reflects more upon my 'upland' prejudices than any lack of intrinsic beauty to be enjoyed here. A fact that can be categorically verified by anyone taking the time to visit the small coastal hamlet of Isleornsay, overlooking an idyllic harbour sheltering small boats from the more extreme vagaries of The Sound of Sleat.

Hmm... it might therefore seem a little obtuse, perhaps, to abandon this wondrous coastline shortly afterward, following Gleann Meadal across Sleat's rocky spine to the peninsular's opposite flank. But rest assured it's not, the River Ord's sinuous course guiding the traveller unerringly to the eponymous township (An t-Ord in Gaelic) and a beach with quite wondrously stunning views across Loch Eishort to The Cuillin. The single track road climbs steeply away from such sedimentary grandeur before reaching a small parking area, this just before a cattle grid upon the southern flank of Sron Daraich. Light woodland screens the panorama so - boots on - I head north to pick up the line of a fence crossing (more-or-less) the summit of the hill, this veering to the left to make a rough, heathery descent toward the merging of the Allt an Leth-bheinn and Loch Eishort at Inbhir Amlabhaig. Whoah... quite an odd experience, this. Clearly I'm not used to descending to see cairns. Or most other prehistoric monuments, now I come to mention it. But there you are.

Now if I had a 1:25K OS map finding the monuments would, maybe, have been a doddle. Needless to say I've just an old 1:50K edition lovingly procured from Oxfam in Chelmsford in my possession. Consequently I head for what are obviously the cairns.... to find that 'they', just as obviously, are not. Anyway to cut a long story short - as Tony Hadley once crooned - prospective visitors should head directly for the near bank of the river, not far from loch side, where two very forlorn-looking cairns stand most unimpressively behind the foundations of later dry stone structures. Both are choked with the ubiquitous heather virtually to the point of not resembling cairns at all... or at least to any noticeable degree.

However it is what lies within their hollow, albeit obscured interiors that makes the soggy downhill stomp more than worthwhile... the clear remains of cists. TSC's misc post has the technical detail; however I have to say that here - more than ever - it is the sensational landscape context that defines the sublime nature of the site. Proclaims it as if a loudspeaker fed through a Marshall amp turned all the way to eleven! Yeah, the silence is so overwhelming it is almost too loud to process. If that makes any sense? Archaeology and vibe in perfect harmony. Having said that the visuals are pretty good, too. Now I've often heard it said that perhaps the finest mountain view in Scotland is that of the Black Cuillin from Elgol? The place where Midge Ure and friends take a boat ride in Ultravox's 'Lament' video. If so the vista of the same serrated peaks, Bla Bheinn to the fore, rising across Loch Eishort from these cairns takes that celebrated scene to the wire. No really. I reckon it does.

But wait, the best is yet to come. As I lay back and proceed to not do an awful lot (now there's a contradiction in terms) - except ride out the periodic storm fronts and bask in the light of the interludes - I recall that, according to Canmore at least, there is a further cairn overlooking the far (western) bank of the Allt an Leth-bheinn, apparently placed upon the crag looming above another, more substantial dry stone ruin.... the shell of an old school house? Now elsewhere reaching said far bank might well be an issue. Here, however, as luck (or rather resourceful locals) would have it, the river is crossed by stepping stones a little upstream. Yeah, functional and aesthetically pleasing... everyone's a winner. I therefore wander across dryshod to take a quick shufti and duly discover a very well preserved cist with capstone slipped to one side. OK, like its neighbours to the east the cairn is pretty nondescript as a stone pile... but so what with such marvellous internal attributes? What's more a pretty persuasive case could be given for this cairn to actually have contained multiple cists in its time. What a haunting, ethereal location this is. Why, one of the cist's substantial orthostats even possesses an enigmatic circular marking. Whether this is natural or artificial I'm not competent enough to determine. But it sure wouldn't surprise me if it was the real thing.

The Black Cuillin, taking matters very literally indeed, glower across the water beneath a positively Wagnerian sky... as the progressively more vigorous movement of a couple of trees, their small stature clearly at odds with herculean survival tendencies, pre-empts the arrival of yet another storm front.

Sure enough the downpour catches me midway across the stepping stones. But I am dry before reaching the car.
GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
3rd September 2015ce

Staffordshire — News

Archaeologists praise 'eagle-eyed' contractor


Peak District National Park archaeologists have praised a contractor working on a major footpath restoration scheme in North Staffordshire after he discovered a previously unknown Bronze Age burial site.

Kieran Fogarty was digging a trench to reinforce a popular public footpath at The Roaches near Leek when he unearthed part of a decorated Bronze Age cremation urn. Mr Fogarty quickly alerted staff at the Peak Park authority to his find and a team from the cultural heritage division visited the site and identified his discovery.

A team led by archaeologist John Barnatt carried out a rescue excavation of the site and as well as recovering three large fragments of the urn were also able to identify and record the extent of the cremation pit, fully recover a 'significant amount' of cremated bone and charcoal from the site and even record the impression left by the side of the urn in the edge of the pit.

Ken Smith, cultural heritage manager for the authority said: "Kieran did exactly the right thing - by contacting us quickly we were able to get out to the site and identify what he had uncovered." Mr Smith added, "Often finds like this are associated with burial mounds but in this case there was no clue on the ground surface that there was archaeology present."

Funding is to be sought for post-excavation work to be carried out that may identify where the clay used to make the urn came from, C14 dating of the charcoal and study of the cremated bone. Once the urn has been analysed it will be deposited with The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

Link to story on website of Leek Post and Times newspaper:-
http://www.leek-news.co.uk/Pot-containing-human-remains-3-500-years-old/story-27680909-detail/story.html
BrownEdger Posted by BrownEdger
3rd September 2015ce

Stronstrey Bank Cairns (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Stronstrey Bank Cairns</b>Posted by LivingRocks Posted by LivingRocks
2nd September 2015ce

Stronstrey Bank Cairns (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

2 Cairns & a Mesolithic scatter site are listed very close together in The Anglezarke survey report & also by Pastscape, so having worked out where the sites should be I headed off on the short walk from Moor Lane. The first of the cairns is quite easily found, but the second is more problematic, I think I found it but it’s buried deep in the Anglezarke tufty grass & a winter trip when the vegetation is at its lowest is needed to confirm it. Posted by LivingRocks
2nd September 2015ce

Nine Ladies of Stanton Moor (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>Nine Ladies of Stanton Moor</b>Posted by juamei<b>Nine Ladies of Stanton Moor</b>Posted by juamei juamei Posted by juamei
1st September 2015ce

Druim Dubh (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Druim Dubh</b>Posted by GLADMAN GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
31st August 2015ce

Dun Liath, Kilmuir (Stone Fort / Dun) — Images

<b>Dun Liath, Kilmuir</b>Posted by GLADMAN GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
31st August 2015ce

Carn Liath, Kilmuir (Chambered Cairn) — Images

<b>Carn Liath, Kilmuir</b>Posted by GLADMAN GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
31st August 2015ce
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