Biggar Common, 1987-93: an early prehistoric funerary and domestic landscape in Clydesdale, South Lanarkshire
Stone Structures, Knife, Seamer Axe, Funerary, Palaeoenvironmental Remains, Cairns, Burials, Stone Hammerstone, Charcoal, Charred Plant Remains, Beakers, Pottery, Long Mound, Radiocarbon, Carbonized Plant Remains, Late Meso Radiocarbon, Stone Axehead, Round Cairns
Early Neo, Early Prehistoric
A fieldwalking exercise by Lanark and District Archaeological Society (LADAS) on moorland recently ploughed for forestry revealed the presence of an extensive Early Neo, Late Neo and EBA artefact scatter, a long mound and five round cairns. Excavation of two of the round cairns revealed them to be simple, single-phase monuments of Beaker date, sealing possibly cultivated soils. The long mound was a complex, multi-phase monument of Early Neo date which contained two secondary burials of a later date; one contained Late Neo artefacts (a Seamer axe and a large leaf-shaped knife), and the other contained three Beakers and a polished stone axehead. The mound overlay three phases of earlier activity: a stake-built structure which produced two Late Meso radiocarbon dates; a possibly cultivated soil deposit; and a series of bonfires (containing Early Neo pottery) which produced two Early Neo radiocarbon dates. This phase may be contemporary with stone structures whose relative stratigraphic position could not be ascertained. Excavation in the artefact scatters revealed evidence for widespread Neo domestic activity. There are specialist reports on: `The artefact scatters and areas of sample excavation' by Daniel A Johnston & Tam Ward (198--202); `Pottery' by A Sheridan (202--23); `Chipped stone; hammerstone and axeheads' by Bill Finlayson (223--34); and `Stone axehead from cairn 2' by Roy Ritchie (234). The Palaeoenvironmental remains section includes: `The charred plant remains from cairns 2 & 3' by Sheila Boardman (234); `Charcoal from the pre-mound deposits under cairn 2' by Anne Crone (234--5); `Palynology of old ground surfaces beneath cairns 1 & 3' by Richard Tipping (235--6); `Micromorphology of the soils buried by cairns 1 & 3' (236--7) and `Soil chemistry from the Historic Scotland sites' (237) both by Stephen Carter; `Charcoal identifications from sample areas 2 & 5' by Sheila Boardman (237--8); and `Carbonized plant remains from sample areas 2 & 5' by Ruth Pelling (238--9). `Dating evidence' is discussed by Daniel A Johnston & Tam Ward (240--3).