Inhumation, Pits, Cist, Double Kerbed Cairn, Vessel, Cairn, Chambered Cairn, Cremated Remains
Middle Bronze Age, Neolithic
The site at Olcote is multi-phase and is suspected to span from the Neolithic to the middle Bronze Age. The earliest features on the site were pits of probable Neolithic date. While it is possible that these pits were of domestic origins, the possibility that they were the remains of excarnation platforms has been explored and the link between them and the chambered cairn within the circle at Calanais has been discussed. A kerbed cairn sealed most of the pits. The cairn had two kerbs, in common with a number of other such monuments that have been excavated in the Hebrides and it is suggested the double kerbed cairn is a specifically Hebridean variant. Despite its complexity, it is suggested that the cairn was a single phase construction with, at most, one addition, a possible satellite cist of suitable size for an inhumation. The central cist contained the cremated remains of one or two teenage or younger individuals. A vessel within the cist had been disturbed and was suspected to have originally covered the cremated remains.