Ardrossan, Cannon Hill

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Canmore ID 41144
Site Number NS24SW 9
NGR NS 2313 4218
Former District CUNNINGHAME
Former County AYRSHIRE
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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Archaeological Notes

NS24SW 9 2313 4218.

(Approximately NS 2313 4218) A shell-mound, measuring 102ft by 16ft, on the SW side of Cannon Hill, close to Ardrossan railway station, was excavated by Smith. Its length was mostly overhung by a few feet, by the rock face, which had formed a rock-shelter, which the excavation showed had been occupied at intervals over a considerable period of time. Prior to Smith's excavation, the railway workings had cut a longitudinal section in the mound, which overlay a 1ft layer of raised beach sand. The mound was composed of shells, mainly periwinkle and limpet, and animal bones.
Relics found included a stone 'anchor' with a groove cut round it for a rope, a possible stone sinker, fragments of very coarse, hand-made pottery, also some pieces of wheel-turned, glazed pottery, a bone chisel, two bone needles, etc. Human bones, some of which were exhibited in Glasgow in 1911, on loan from Smith, were also found.
J Smith 1894; 1895; Palace of History 1911

Bone implements and a hammerstone from this site were donated to the NMAS from the collection of the late J Smith in 1931 (Acc. nos. HR 840-6).
Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1931; NMAS Card Index

No trace of any remains of this shell mound was seen.
Visited by OS (JLD) 7 September 1956

Books and References

PSAS (1931) 'Donations to and purchases for the Museum and Library', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, vol.65
Page(s): 298

Palace of History (1911) Scottish exhibition of national history, art and industry, Glasgow (1911): Palace of History catalogue of exhibits, in Glaister, J (et al) 2v Glasgow
Page(s): Vol.2, 836-7, nos 78-9, 92-4 Held at RCAHMS B.4.5.SCO

Smith, J (1894b) 'The Ardrossan shell-mound, with an account of its excavation', Archaeol Hist Collect Ayrshire Galloway, vol.7
Page(s): 62-74

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