Taversoe Tuick - Finds

The upper two illustrations are from Turner (3), and the lower ones from Grant (4). As usual, our sincere thanks to the Society for allowing use of material from its most excellent Proceedings.


Turner (3) describes the finding of "a skeleton bent upon itself" in the west bench cell of the lower chamber and "fragments of a human skeleton" in the east bench cell. Three piles of bones were found in the inner part of the passage above the "blocking" stone, beyond this fragments of bone were found mixed with pottery sherds. From the "bench" cell bones Turner describes five femurs from three individuals and suspected that at least one female was represented.

The bone found in the cists on the floor of the upper chamber and the three piles found in the lower entrance passage had all been cremated which made identification difficult. Turner was able to say that cist bones were those of a least one adult and a child, those found in the passage he describes as coming from "one or more skeletons".

Grant (4)  describes finding part of a human jawbone whilst removing one of the benches in the lower chamber, he does not specify which one.



Turner (3)  reporting on the Burroughs original excavation mentions the finding of "numerous pieces of broken pottery" in the lower chamber. In the outer portion of the passage, beyond the blocking slab, "numerous broken portions of urns" were also found. Also in the outer passage were a triangular flint flake and part of a broken stone macehead (see later).

Above are some of the pottery sherds collected in the lower chamber and passage by Burroughs, as published by Turner (3)

Grant's (4) excavation seems to have been more meticulous than Burroughs, as a result he produced further finds, even though the cairn had been previously excavated. An example is the fragment of stone macehead found by Burroughs in the outer part of the lower passage, Grant re-examined the spoilheaps from the earlier excavation and recovered a second fragment of the macehead which had been discarded. This allowed a drawing of the intact item to be published .

The macehead (approx 2.5cm dia)   Shale disc beads   Pumice pendant (2.8 x 2.1cm)

Similarly, in the upper chamber entrance passage Grant discovered 35 disc beads and a perforated pendant of pumice, these were discovered "under the blocking stones but 9 to 12 inches above the floor". In the lower chamber Grant found fragments of three bowls "of the familiar Unstan type" whilst removing a bench (unspecified), the human jawbone fragment mentioned above was found at the same time.

Grant's discovery of the miniature subsidiary chamber alongside the cairn resulted in the only two intact pottery finds at the site including a "carinated  bowl of Unstan type, 19.5cm, in diameter and 9cm. deep".  Fragments of two other pots were also found in the chamber entrance, a "plain baggy pot" and an undecorated keeled bowl.

Intact pot with applied moulding giving a carination effect.   The intact "Unstan" bowl. (19.5cm dia.)   The "plain baggy pot". (Mouth 13.5cm dia. )

Grant also recovered flint artifacts from the upper chamber, a leaf-shaped arrowhead and a point (1 and 2 in figure below) were found on the chamber floor. The third implement "of yellowish chert" was found "on top of the broken-down wall of the eastern cell about 2 feet back form the face".

 Flint artifacts from the upper chamber.

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