Region : Orkney Home
Island : Rousay Map
Town or village : Westside List
Grid Reference : HY 372 304 Glossary
Period : 3rd millennium BC Bibliography

Mihdowe chambered cairn image

A huge stalled tomb, lying parallel to the shore on the west coast of the island of Rousay (Orkney).
The rectangular chamber, 23.4m long, is divided by pairs of upright slabs into 12 compartments (in the photo, the chamber is seen from the south-east end). Several compartments are provided with stone benches.
The cairn's outer wall-face was carefully arranged in a herringbone pattern. The tomb is now protected under a shed and its sophisticated structure can be viewed also from a overhead walkway.
Along the eastern wall of the compartments the remains of 25 people were found. Some of them had been exposed prior to burial to remove the flesh. The first four compartments were empty. Pottery recovered from the chamber is of the so called Unstan type.
A hundred metres to the west is the much later Midhowe broch.
In care of Historic Scotland