A. N Shepherd, ed., (2000). The good stones:. Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

Title
Title
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Title:
The good stones:
Subtitle
Subtitle
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Subtitle:
a new investigation of the Clava Cairns
Series
Series
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Series:
Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Monograph Series
Volume
Volume
Volume number and part
Volume:
17
Pages
Pages
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Number of Pages:
246
Downloads
Downloads
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Downloads:
17_2000_BRADLEY_Good_Stones.pdf (62 MB) : Download
DOI
DOI
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DOI
Publication Type
Publication Type
The type of publication - report, monograph, journal article or chapter from a book
Publication Type:
Monograph Chapter (in Series)
Author
Author
The authors of this publication or report
Author:
Richard Bradley
Editor
Editor
The editor of the publication or report
Editor:
Alexandra N Shepherd
Publisher
Publisher
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Publisher:
Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
Year of Publication
Year of Publication
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Year of Publication:
2000
ISBN
ISBN
International Standard Book Number
ISBN:
0 903903 17 2
Locations
Locations
Any locations covered by the publication or report. This is not the place the book or report was published.
Subjects / Periods:
Bronze Age
BIAB: Ring Cairns
BIAB: Passage Graves
BIAB: Surveys/Survey Methods
Source
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Source:
DigitalBorn
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Created Date
Created Date
The date the record of the pubication was first entered
Created Date:
20 Mar 2001
Chapter Title Sort Order Both Arrows Access Type Author / Editor Page
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Abstract
1 - 13
The first section of this chapter compares two very different ways of interpreting megalithic tombs. One moves from the general to the particular, whilst the other proceeds in the opposite direction. The point of departure for this study will be the nature of the Clava cairns, but successive chapters will broaden the enquiry to consider the significance of this group of sites for earlier prehistoric studies in Northern Britain. The second section of the chapter sets out the major problems posed by these particular monuments and the reasons why they needed investigation through a new campaign of fieldwork, and the third explains how that research came to be concentrated on the guardianship monument at Balnuaran of Clava.
14 - 47
This chapter reviews the character of the standing structures at Balnuaran of Clava in relation to the poorly preserved remains of other monuments in the surrounding area. They form part of a cemetery which originally contained at least eight separate monuments. This section discusses the detailed designs of the various cairns and the evidence for modifications to those monuments from the time of the first antiquarian records. When studied in detail, the four structures in the guardianship enclosure - a ring-cairn, a kerb-cairn and two passage graves - have more features in common than is usually expected.
48 - 82
This chapter describes four excavations on the monuments at Balnuaran of Clava: two ring cairns (the central cairn and the newly discovered Balnuaran of Clava South) and the two passage graves. it provides a complete account of their structural development and a discussion of the features that these monuments have in common. A full account of the excavated artefacts, environmental evidence and radiocarbon dates follow in chapter 4.
Angela Boyle
Richard Bradley
Donald A Davidson
Rowena M O Gale
Andrew W Hoaen
Jaime Kaminski
Tony Pollard
Alison Sheridan
I A Simpson
Aaron Watson
83 - 116
This chapter presents specialist studies of the artefacts from Balnuaran of Clava. There is an account of the cremated bone and a detailed review of the environmental evidence provided by soil micromorphology, pollen analysis and the study of charcoal assemblages. This chapter concludes with details of the radiocarbon dates from the site.
Aaron Watson
Richard Bradley
83 - 86
Alison Sheridan
87
Angela Boyle
87 - 89
Tony Pollard
87
I A Simpson
Donald A Davidson
89 - 96
Andrew W Hoaen
96 - 113
Rowena M O Gale
Jaime Kaminski
113 - 114
Jaime Kaminski
Rowena M O Gale
115 - 116
Richard Bradley
Tim Phillips
Ronnie Scott
117 - 130
This chapter considers the chronological development of the cemetery and its spatial organisation during its two main phases of use: the early and late Bronze Ages. It considers its relationship to an older settlement site and the architectural links between the principal early Bronze Age monuments. The discussion emphasises the significance of two celestial alignments in the organisation of the cairns. The most important of these was the position of the midwinter sunset, although the location of the midsummer sunrise is also reflected in the layout of individual monuments. The discussion reviews the symbolic significance of the grading of the kerbstones and monoliths and the use of building materials of different colours. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the ways in which the cemetery was expanded and changed during the late Bronze Age.
Richard Bradley
Margaret Matthews
131 - 159
Richard Bradley
Rowena M O Gale
Alison Sheridan
Tony Pollard
Aaron Watson
131 - 159
This chapter reports the excavation of a monument at Newton of Petty, close to the shore of the Moray Firth. Although the site was disturbed, enough survived to show that it had been a Clava ring-cairn. Parts of the stone circle and outer kerb remained intact, but the inner kerb, which had been set in a bedding trench, was robbed in the 19th century. The construction of the monument probably took place a little before 2000 BC. The central area of the ring-cairn was later filled by a deposit of sandstone slabs, which had the effect of converting what was originally a circular enclosure into a low platform. The site was reused between about 1100 and 800 BC when a number of pits containing cremation burials were excavated through the material of the earlier cairn.
Aaron Watson
Richard Bradley
144 - 145
Alison Sheridan
145
Angela Boyle
145 - 151
Tony Pollard
151 - 154
Richard Bradley
Rowena M O Gale
156
160 - 170
This chapter brings together the results of all the excavations that have taken place at Clava Cairns and considers the chronology of these monuments. it studies the way in which these structures were built, the development of individual cairns, their association with human burials and the nature of the ritual cycle that took place there. The closing section brings together the evidence for domestic activity before the cairns were built and includes a new interpretation of the excavated evidence from the ring-cairn at Raigmore.
Tim Phillips
Aaron Watson
171 - 184
After the detailed accounts of individual monuments presented in earlier chapters, this section studies the entire distribution of the Clava Cairns in relation to their local setting in the landscape. It compares the locations of the passage-graves and ring-cairns both with one another and with a series of 'control samples' in the immediate vicinity of the sites and suggests that each kind of monument shows a remarkable sensitivity to the character of the local landscape. The cairns are generally in inconspicuous positions, in areas that could have sustained year-round settlement, but there are certain contrasts between the views from these two classes of site. The monuments in Strathnairn are exceptionally large in comparison with the other cairns, and the form of the Clava cemetery may imitate the configuration of the local topography. The chapter also discusses the orientation of these sites in relation to rivers, hills and the movements of the sun and moon.
171 - 184
After the detailed accounts of individual monuments presented in earlier chapters, this section studies the entire distribution of the Clava Cairns in relation to their local setting in the landscape. It compares the locations of the passage-graves and ring-cairns both with one another and with a series of 'control samples' in the immediate vicinity of the sites and suggests that each kind of monument shows a remarkable sensitivity to the character of the local landscape. The cairns are generally in inconspicuous positions, in areas that could have sustained year-round settlement, but there are certain contrasts between the views from these two classes of site. The monuments in Strathnairn are exceptionally large in comparison with the other cairns, and the form of the Clava cemetery may imitate the configuration of the local topography. The chapter also discusses the orientation of these sites in relation to rivers, hills and the movements of the sun and moon.
Tim Phillips
171 - 184
Aaron Watson
Nicola Clarkson
176
Aaron Watson
Richard Bradley
185 - 210
This chapter reviews the results of field survey undertaken between Strathnairn and the coast of the Moray Firth. This crossed the densest distribution of Clava Cairns, including those at Balnuaran and Newton of Petty. After a review of the field methodology and the lithic raw material available in the area, this account compares the character, distribution and density of surface finds in a number of natural zones. It also identifies an important change in the character of land use after the Mesolithic period. The areas that saw most activity in the Neolithic and early Bronze Age were the edges of a freshwater wetland on the coastal plain and the gravels of Strathnairn. There was more limited activity close to the spring on Drummossie Muir and at certain points along the coast. The distribution of surface artefacts is very closely related to that of Clava Cairns, suggesting that most of these monuments were constructed in the heart of the domestic landscape.
Aaron Watson
Richard Bradley
185 - 210
Tony Pollard
196 - 197
Alison Sheridan
197 - 198
Coleen E Batey
198
Richard Bradley
211 - 232
The final chapter is an attempt to assess the significance of this project. It explains how some of the ideas that were formulated when the work began must be abandoned and how an improved understanding of the structure and chronology of the Clava Cairns necessitates an entirely different interpretation of these monuments and the techniques according to which they were built. It discusses their relationship to other traditions of architecture in Northern Britain and also considers the location of the Clava Cairns in the social geography of prehistoric Scotland and Ireland. The final section discusses the cultural context in which these remarkable monuments came into being.
The `good stones' are a group of fifty or more distinctive ring-cairns and passage graves around the Moray Firth. This report documents survey and excavation in 1994--97 of the core monuments at Balnuaran of Clava, Petty, Inverness-shire, with additional information from newly discovered remnant and lesser-known Clava sites (including a ring-cairn at Newton of Petty, excavated in 1975--77). The monuments are described in terms of their structural elements, design, construction and orientation, the placement and selection of stones, decoration with cup marks, and their use for deposition of cremations, lithic scatters and seashells. The cairns were constructed in a domestic landscape, and chronological appraisal prompted by radiocarbon dating places them in the wider burial and ritual scenery of the Early and Late Bronze Age. The following reports are included: