|18 December 2017
Bronze Age burials discovered near Loch Ness
Archaeologists say they are finding increasing evidence that a site near Loch Ness (Highlands, Scotland) was important for burials in the Bronze Age. A second 4,000-year-old grave has been located in an area being developed in Drumnadrochit where a stone-lined grave known as a cist was found in 2015. The discovery two years ago included human remains.
The latest grave had filled with soil causing degradation to the pit, but a single Beaker pot was found. Archaeologists said the decorated pot may have held an offering to the person who was buried in the cist. The first grave was excavated by AOC Archaeology Group.
Mary Peteranna, operations Manager for AOC Archaeology's Inverness office, said: "The discovery of a second Bronze Age cist on the site provides increasing evidence for the special selection of this site in the prehistoric landscape as a location for ceremonial funerary activity. This cist, along with the medical centre cist and a second burial pit, is generating much more information about the prehistory of Glen Urquhart. Historically, there was a large cairn shown on maps of the area but you can imagine that centuries of ploughing in these fields have removed any upstanding reminders of prehistoric occupation."
The archaeologist added: "During the work, we actually found a displaced capstone from another grave that either has not survived or has not yet been discovered. "So it's quite likely that these graves were covered by stone cairns or mounds, long-since ploughed out."
Archaeologists described the new Drumnadrochit pot as a small Beaker with "simple incised decoration" similar to other Scottish examples dating to between 2200-1900 BCE.
It is similar in size to one found on the medical centre site in 2015, but with a less ornate design. Archaeologists said future analysis would confirm if, like the medical centre Beaker, it contained an offering at the time of burial.
Edited from The Inverness Courier, BBC News (14 December 2017)
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