Excavations at Dunure Road, Ayrshire: a Bronze Age cist cemetery and standing stone
Cremated Human Bone, Mound, Artefacts, Stone, Cist Cemetery, Burials
Ayrshire; Scotland; UK
Early Bronze Age
In March 2005, excavations were undertaken by Glasgow University Archaeological Research Division (GUARD) at the Craig Tara Holiday Park, Dunure Road, Ayr in advance of proposed development. Two main archaeological sites were examined.
The first, a flat cist cemetery covered by an earthen mound, comprised 23 separate burial features of varying morphology from two separate phases of burial, including cists, pits and what has been interpreted as a ‘boat-shaped’ setting. Nine cremations and four possible inhumations were recovered from within the burial features as well as a range of material culture including Food Vessels, flint artefacts and a bone pin. Dating of cremated bone from the cists indicated that activity at the site stretched from the late third to the early second millennium BC.
The second site, a demolished or fallen standing stone, was located some 35m to the north and east
of the first. Although the sequence of monument construction and demolition is clear, the reasons for
the demolition of the stone are less so. However, a rare opportunity to date the stone was presented
with the identification of a cremation deposit within the construction pit backfill. This indicated that
the stone was constructed in the last quarter of the second millennium BC, suggesting a continuum of
activity in the area late into the second millennium BC.