|The Bronze Age Cist Cemetery|
addition to the Mesolithic site a completely unexpected Bronze Age cist
cemetery was exposed in the excavation trench. This consisted of five
cists, though only one contained surviving fragments of bone. Some small
sherds of food vessel were associated with another of the cists but this
had been disturbed by a later linear burning pit. However, a curious
association was the placing of limestone axe roughouts directly on
top of, or next to, the capstones of a number of the cists. This is
particularly interesting as the limestone outcrops on the beach
immediately below the site.
Four of the five cists were for infants and the surviving bone fragments from Cist 2 included pieces of a small skull. Cist 5 was adult-sized although no bone survived in the acid soil. The reason bone fragments survived in Cist 2 was due to the cist slabs being made from whinstone which has an alkaline bias, unlike the acidic sandstone used for the other cists.
Another Bronze Age cist cemetery was discovered on the opposite promontory to the south of the Howick Burn by antiquarians during the nineteenth century. One of these cists had rock art on the underside of the capstone and a fragmentary pottery vessel was also found.
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