Arran, Monamore, Meallach's Grave

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Canmore ID 40086
Site Number NS02NW 10
NGR NS 01752 28890
Former District CUNNINGHAME
Former County BUTESHIRE
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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C14 Radiocarbon Dating
C14 radiocarbon dating

Notes and Activities

Archaeological Notes

NS02NW 10 01752 28890.

(NS 0173 2888) Meallach's Grave (NAT)
(Cairn) (NR).
OS 6" map, (1924)

Meallach's Grave: Clyde group, long cairn. This cairn has been greatly robbed and its edges are indefinite, the whole area now being turf-covered. The cairn material remains about 3' high round the chamber. The extent of the cairn was approximately established in 1961 by probing (MacKie 1966). It seems to have been more or less trapezoidal about 45ft long from the portal stones, widening to a maximum width of about 35ft at 14ft behind the facade. A cutting running SE from the centre of the chamber showed at the edge of the cairn several slabs which may have fallen from a kerb of dry-stone walling. The cairn was composed of large irregular stones and earth.
At the SW end of the cairn, an impressive facade was revealed in the 1961 excavations. It measures 26ft 9 ins across, consisting of 8 orthostats set in a shallow and somewhat irregular curve about 3ft 6ins deep. They were linked by dry walling, still standing up 2ft 4ins high. A thick deposit of grey earth and accumulated in the forecourt, to a depth of 2-3ft against the facade. In it were 21 spreads of charcoal, and many scattered fragments at varying depths. A sill-stone 1ft 2ins deep, was firmly wedged between the portals. In front of the sill-stone was a small paved area. Over the grey earth was a deliberate blocking, of stones in brown earth; its upper surface formed a rough pavement. Two radiocarbon dates were obtained from charcoal in the grey soil deposits. The earlier, from near the base of the deposit, gave a date of 3160 +/- 110 BC, the later, laid down shortly before the blocking, gave a date of 2240 +/- 110 BC.
The chamber was excavated in 1902 (b). It measures 13ft 3ins by from 2ft 9ins to 4ft 6ins and is divided into 3 compartments. The artifacts found in the 1961 excavations are in the Hunterian Museum; they comprise pottery sherds (A 1961 13, 19 and 20), flint blade (A 1961 18) flint scraper (A 1961 12), pitchstone and quartz fragments (A 1961 22) and a later blue dumb-bell shaped glass bead (A 1961 61). Items found in 1902 are in the NMAS: pottery sherds and pitchstone fragments (EO 272).
T H Bryce 1903; E W MacKie 1967; A S Henshall 1972, visited 1972.

NS 01762 8888. Meallach's Grave (name confirmed) is a Chambered Cairn as described by Miss Henshall.
Surveyed at 1:10 000.
Visited by OS (B S) 28 November 1977.

Books and References

Bryce, T H (1903) 'On the cairns of Arran: a record of further explorations during the season of 1902', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, vol.37
Page(s): 53-4

Current Archaeology (1972g) 'Chambered Tombs in Scotland', Curr Archaeol, vol.3, 11 September
Page(s): 304

Davidson and Carter, D A and S P (2003) 'Soils and their evolution', in Edwards, K J and Ralston, I B M Scotland after the Ice Age: environment, archaeology and history 8000BC - AD 1000 Edinburgh
Page(s): 54-55

Henshall, A S (1972a) The chambered tombs of Scotland, , vol.2 Edinburgh
Page(s): 379-81, ARN 9 plan Held at RCAHMS E.7.1.HEN

MacKie, E W (1966a) 'New excavations on the Monamore neolithic chambered cairn, Lamlash, Isle of Arran, in 1961', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, vol.97
Page(s): 1-34

Romans and Robertson, J C C and L (1975) Soils and archaeology in Scotland, in Evans, J G, Limbrey, S and Cleere, H The effects of man on the landscape: the highland zone, Council for British Archaeology research report no.11 London
Page(s): 38

Stevenson, J B (1985b) Exploring Scotland's heritage: the Clyde estuary and Central Region, Exploring Scotland's heritage series Edinburgh
Page(s): 146, no. 101 Held at RCAHMS A.1.4.HER

Stevenson, J B (1995) Glasgow, Clydeside and Stirling, Exploring Scotland's Heritage series, ed. by Anna Ritchie Edinburgh
Page(s): (no. 105), 161 Held at RCAHMS A.1.4.HER

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