Rousay, Rinyo

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Alternative Names Braes Of Rinyo; Bigland Farm
Canmore ID 2717
Site Number HY43SW 20
NGR HY 4398 3224
Former District ORKNEY
Former County ORKNEY
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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Archaeological Notes

HY43SW 20 4398 3224

For comparable settlements at Skara Brae (Mainland), Barnhouse (Mainland) and Pool (Sanday), see HY21NW 12.00, HY31SW 61-2 and HY63NW 17 respectively.

(HY 440 321) This Neolithic settlement, type site for the Rinyo-Clacton Culture, was excavated in 1938 and again in 1946 by Professor V G Childe and W G Grant. It was found to be very similar to Skara Brae (HY21NW 12.00), 15 miles away to the SW. The finds consisted of numerous pot-sherds, including some of beaker ware, 250 flint implements including a polished knife; stone axes and balls, an 'ovoid B' stone mace-head, a mortar and potlids, most of which were presented to the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS).
V G Childe 1939; RCAHMS 1946, visited 1936; V G Childe 1949; R W Feachem 1963.

The Beaker sherd held from Rinyo is held in the NMAS under accession number HDA 99. It is assigned to Clarke's N3 ('Late Northern British') group.
[Illustrated: chronological significance discussed].
D L Clarke 1970.

The Rinyo settlement at HY 4398 3224 has been filled in and only a few slabs on edge and some fragments of drystone walling protrude to mark the site.
Surveyed at 1/2500.
Visited by OS (ISS) 18 October 1972.

June 1938 to July 1938

Notes Excavated by Childe and W G Grant in 1938. Further excavations took place in 1946.
V G Childe and W G Grant 1938

Further details

July 1946 to August 1946

Notes Excavated by Childe and W G Grant.
V G Childe and W G Grant 1949

Further details

26 June 2010 to 27 June 2010

Notes HY 4398 3224 Approximately 1.2ha of gradiometer survey
was undertaken on 26–27 June 2010 over the site of the
Neolithic settlement of Rinyo, as part of the second season
of the ‘Orkney – Gateway to the Atlantic Project’. The survey
covered the scheduled area and extended across the terrace
on which the site is located, in order to determine the nature
and extents of the deposits beyond those excavated in 1937–
38 and 1946 (Childe and Grant 1939; 1949).
The survey appears to have defined the extent of the
settlement, which covers an area of c2000 sqm, with
responses similar to those noted in the gradiometer surveys
around Skara Brae (HY21NW 12), suggesting further
structural remains as well as increased magnetic responses
probably resulting from Neolithic midden enhanced soils. A
number of anomalies suggestive of more modern disturbance
and drainage were noted at the periphery of the site, and
responses consistent with ploughing were visible across
much of the rest of the survey area.
Report: Orkney SMR and RCAHMS (intended)
Funder: Orkney College, NABO and University of Bradford

Further details

Books and References

Armit, I (1996) The archaeology of Skye and the Western Isles, Edinburgh
Page(s): 94, 108, 115 Held at RCAHMS E.2.1.ARM

Barclay, G J (1996) 'Neolithic buildings in Scotland', in Darvill, T and Thomas, J Neolithic houses in northwest Europe and beyond, Neolithic Studies Group seminar papers 1; Oxbow monograph 57 Oxford
Page(s): 61-76

Barclay, G J (2003) 'The Neolithic', in Edwards, K J and Ralston, I B M Scotland after the Ice Age: environment, archaeology and history 8000BC - AD 1000 Edinburgh
Page(s): 148

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