Ardeer Sands, Misk Knowes

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Canmore ID 41098
Site Number NS24SE 7
NGR NS 2866 4130
Former District CUNNINGHAME
Former County AYRSHIRE
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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C14 Radiocarbon Dating
C14 radiocarbon dating

Notes and Activities

Archaeological Notes

NS24SE 7 2866 4130.

(NS 2866 4130) Cairn (NR) (Site of)
OS 6" map (1958)

In 1906, the drifting of sand revealed a small oval cairn approximately 15ft by 10ft in size and 3ft high in the centre, composed of about eighty water-rolled boulders. This covered at least sixteen cinerary urns, mainly bucket-shaped. Four of the urns were sealed with plugs of half-baked or unbaked clay, some contained white quartz pebbles as well as cremations; one urn had six small white quartz pebbles and a reddish quartz pebble the size of a hen's egg embedded in the soft clay cover which sealed it. Another urn contained traces of thin gold leaf, two segmented, and one star-shaped, faience beads. Also found was a cremation covered by soft clay, but not accompanied by an urn.
Nine of the urns, and the beads, are in Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum, one urn is in the Dick Institute, Kilmarnock, and two urns are in the North Ayrshire Museum, Saltcoats. Other urns or fragments, listed or illustrated by Mann, appear to have been lost (A Morrison 1968).
L M Mann 1906; A Morrison 1971

All traces of this cairn have been removed. It was possibly removed about 1934 when the area of the sand- hills was taken over by the ICI and built over (R Graham, civil engineer, ICI Ltd, Ardeer).
Visited by OS (JLD) 10 September 1956

Apart from the two mentioned, a fragment of a third urn, with a fingerprint impression, is held at Saltcoats Museum (removed on loan in 1979). Also held are an unknown quantity of flint implements from the vicinity of this cairn. (None of this material is catalogued).
Visited by OS (JRL) 30 September 1982

Urn fragments in Glasgow Art Galleries and Museum - Accession Nos 04.153b-f. There is also a flint nodule from 'Misk Pit?' (A747).
Typescript list of Ayrshire material in GAGM, undated.

Books and References

Beck and Stone, H C and J F S (1936) 'Faience beads of the British Bronze Age', Archaeologia, vol.85
Page(s): 203ff

Mann, L M (1906) 'Notes on - (1) a drinking-cup urn found at Bathgate; (2) the exploration of the floor of a a prehistoric hut in Tiree; and (3) a group of (at least) sixteen cinerary urns found, with objects of vitreous paste and of gold, in a cairn at Stevenston, Aryshire', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, vol.40
Page(s): 378-96

Morrison, A (1968) 'Cinerary urns and pygmy vessels in South-West Scotland', Trans Dumfriesshire Galloway Natur Hist Antiq Soc, 3rd, vol.45
Page(s): 105-6, nos 17-28

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