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Remnants of the cairn

Cairn Derry is a megalithic type Bargrennan Tomb in Dumfries and Galloway in southwest Scotland . Of the only 14 examples of this type, the majority are in this county. The name of the group, whose main feature is the passage tomb in a Rundcairn , was the neighboring Whitecairn at Bargrennan. From 2002 to 2004 scientists from the University of Central Lancashire and Newcastle University carried out a scientific dig in Cairnderry.


The severely disturbed three-chamber system at Cairnderry was completely robbed, even in the area where a capstone that had apparently fallen early on lay. Recent finds of items in the upper reaches of the hill suggest that the encroachment on the complex came late in Cairnderry's history. It is also possible that the robbery occurred during the Bronze Age , as is documented at the nearby Cairnholy complex . The excavation contributed to insights into the construction of the stone mound and the chamber. Among other things, a curb was first verified for this type, although it deviates somewhat from the circular shape. The large bearing stones of the chamber did not lie on the natural floor, but on a wedge of stones. A grayish charcoal-rich layer of material underneath the cairn, which was probably once 75 and is now only 25 m in diameter due to the extraction of material for road construction work, and around the chambers probably came from a fire set up before the construction.

Layers of cremated bones and charcoal were found around the hill. A pit sunk into the natural ground contained a complete beaker, which was surrounded by charcoal, a battle ax and a smaller vessel made of poorly burned clay.

An almost completely preserved beaker, a number of pieces of natural flint and pieces of Arran - Pechstein , which was also found at Cairnholy, date from the time before the hill was built. This indicates connections with the island of Arran and has its parallels in the nearby Clyde tombs .

The dating of the artefacts found and the radiocarbon dating of organic material suggest that the facility should be built in the Early Bronze Age at the latest . A single radiocarbon age from 3770 to 3640 BC measured on material from Cairnderry. BC, i.e. from the late Neolithic , comes from material that was probably put in place before the construction of the complex, thus setting a framework for the greatest possible age of Cairnderry, the other dates are significantly more recent.


  • Vicky Cummings, Chris Fowler: From Cairn to Cemetery. An Archaeological Investigation of the Chambered Cairns and Early Bronze Age Mortuary Deposits at Cairnderry and Bargrennan White Cairn, south-west Scotland . Archaeopress, Oxford 2007, ISBN 978-1-4073-0039-9 , ( BAR British series 434).

Individual evidence

  1. Vicki Cummings, Chris Fowler: Construction and re-use of Bargrennan chambered cairns, South-West Scotland. (No longer available online.) September 11, 2006, formerly in the original ; accessed on September 27, 2009 (project overview).  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  2. Vicki Cummings, Chris Fowler: Preliminary results of the second season. In: Cairnderry - The excavation of a Bargrennan chambered tomb. September 15, 2003, accessed September 27, 2009 .
  3. Vicki Cummings, Chris Fowler: History of the site. In: Cairnderry - The excavation of a Bargrennan chambered tomb. November 15, 2002, accessed September 27, 2009 .
  4. David Clarke: Book Review: From Cairn to Cemetery: an Archaeological Investigation of the Chambered Cairns and Early Bronze Age Mortuary Deposits at Cairnderry and Bargrennan. May 2008, accessed September 27, 2009 .

Web links

Coordinates: 55 ° 5 ′ 5.9 ″  N , 4 ° 38 ′ 25.3 ″  W.