The excavation of Cairnwell ring-cairn, Portlethen, Aberdeenshire
Enclosure, Bone, Charcoal, Cremations, Radiocarbon, Pits, Timber Enclosure, Pottery
Second Centuries Bc, Third Centuries Ad, Iron Age
The ring-cairn was completely excavated prior to its reconstruction nearby. The site originally comprised an arc of pits, in use by the Neo period (4320±80 BP -- GU-4402) surrounding a stone circle which may have been of similar date. After a long hiatus, a pyre was burnt within the stone circle (3070±60 BP -- GU-4399). A timber enclosure, with an entrance to the south, was then erected within the stone circle and five urned cremations interred in pits in the centre of the enclosure. Later the timber enclosure was replaced by a stone ring-cairn which respected the interior area delimited by the timber enclosure. This ring-cairn was subsequently expanded to incorporate the stone circle. There are notes on: `Cremated bone' by Kath McSweeney (265--6); `Botanical remains' by Tim Holden (266--8 & 269); `Pottery' by Ann MacSween (268--71); `Lithics' by Thomas Rees (271--2); `Charcoal samples' by Alan Duffy (272); `Calibration' of seven radiocarbon dates by Magnar Dalland (272); and `Analysis of the radiocarbon dates' by John Barber (272--3).