- Chambered cairn
A chambered cairn is a burial monument, usually constructed during the Neolithic, consisting of a cairn of stones inside which a sizeable (usually stone) chamber was constructed. Some chambered cairns are also passage-graves.
Typically, the chamber is larger than a cist, and will contain a larger number of interments, which are either excarnated bones or inhumations (cremations). Most were situated near a settlement, and served as that community's "graveyard".
Scotland has a particularly large number of chambered cairns, many of radically different type. Because of the lack of other remains (the only other significant remains we have are hut circles and field systems), they are perhaps the most important clue we have to what civilisation in Scotland was like in the Neolithic. Here is a short description of each type as the classification currently stands:
Clyde-Carlingford court cairns
The Clyde-Carlingford type are to be found in northern and western Ireland and in mostly southwestern Scotland. Lacking a significant passage, they are a form of gallery grave. The very basic burial chamber is normally located at one end of the cairn, while a roofless, semi-circular forecourt at the entrance provided access from the outside (although the entrance was usually blocked), and gives this type of chambered cairn its alternate name of court tomb or court cairn. They are generally considered to be the earliest in Scotland, dating perhaps to as early as 4000 BCE, and probably spread to Scotland from Ireland.
Sharing some features with the Clyde-Carlingford group is the Hebridean group. As their name suggests they are normally found in the Hebrides, and have a crude polygonal chamber and a very short passage to one end of the cairn.
The Orkney-Cromarty group is by far the largest and most diverse. It has been subdivided into Yarrows, Camster and Cromarty subtypes but the differences are extremely subtle. In general, they all have dividing slabs at either side of a rectangular chamber, separating it into compartments. The number of these compartments ranges from 4 in the earliest examples to over 24 in an extreme example on Orkney. The actual shape of the cairn varies from simple circular designs to elaborate 'forecourts' protruding from each end, creating what look like small Amphitheatres. It is likely that these are the result of cultural influences from mainland Europe, as they are similar to designs found in France and Spain.
The Bookan type is thought to be the earliest to be found on Orkney. Because of Orkney's archaeological richness, Bookan type tombs are very hard to find. They are extremely unusual, some being double-deckered! They all seem to have features which suggest some early stage in the development of Maeshowe type tombs.
The Maeshowe group, named after the famous monument on Orkney, is among the most elaborate. Like their counterparts on Shetland, they are unlike anything else in Scotland, so it is possible these were the result of local development, or influences from Scandinavia. They consist of a central chamber from which lead small compartments, into which burials would be placed.
A final category is the Shetland group, of which little is known. On plan, they do look similar to the Maeshowe group although the whole chamber is cross-shaped and there are no small compartments.
Carneddau cellog hir (chambered long cairns)
There are 18 SAM listed:
- Siambr gladdu Din Dryfol, Aberffraw
- Carnedd gellog hir Pen y Wyrlod, Talgarth
- Siambr gladdu Llety'r Filiast, Llandudno
- Siambr gladdu Bachwen, Clynnog
- Siambr gladdu Rhiw, Aberdaron
- Siambr gladdu Maen y Bardd, Caerhun
- Siambr gladdu Ystum-Cegid, Llanystumdwy
- Siambr gladdu Caer-Dynni, Cricieth
- Siambr gladdu Capel Garmon, Bro Garmon, Conwy
- Siambr gladdu Tyddyn Bleiddyn, Cefn Meiriadog
- Siambr gladdu Hendre-Waelod, Llansanffraid Glan Conwy
- Siambr gladdu Parc le Breos, Llanilltud Gŵyr
- Siambr gladdu Cefn Bryn, Llanilltud Gŵyr
- Siambr gladdu Dyffryn, Dyffryn Ardudwy
- Siambr gladdu Carneddau Hengwm, Dyffryn Ardudwy
- Siambr gladdu Cors-y-Gedol, Dyffryn Ardudwy
- Siambr gladdu Tan-y-Coed, Llandrillo
- Siambr gladdu Gorllewin Bron-y-Foel, Dyffryn Ardudwy
Chambered round cairns
- Siambr gladdu Bryn yr Hen Bobl, Llanddaniel Fab, Môn
- Siambr gladdu Gelli, Llanfair-ar-y-bryn, Sir Gaerfyrddin
- Siambr gladdu Cefnamwlch, Tudweiliog, Gwynedd
- Siambr galddu Afon y Dolau Gwynion, uwch ben Llyn Llanwddyn, Llanwddyn, Powys
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Midhowe Chambered Cairn — Distribution of burials in Midhowe Chambered Cairn. Midhowe is a large Neolithic chambered cairn located on the south shore of the island of Rousay, Orkney, Scotland. The name Midhowe comes from the spectacular Bronze Age broch that lies just… … Wikipedia
Cuween Hill Chambered Cairn — is a cairn on the main island in the islands of Orkney. It is located on top of a hill and is a cairn, similar in design to Maeshowe, but on a much smaller basis. Access to the cairn is on foot, through the original entrance, although visitors… … Wikipedia
Cairn — For other uses, see Cairn (disambiguation). A cairn to mark the summit of a mountain Cairn is a term used mainly in the English speaking world for a man made pile of stones. It comes from the Irish: carn (plural cairn) or Scottish Gaelic: càrn… … Wikipedia
Cairn von Auchoish — Der Cairn von Auchoish ist ein Clyde tomb, das bei Kilmartin in Schottland liegt. Der Steinhügel befindet sich 900 m nordöstlich von Auchoish auf der Südostseite des Tales. Ausgrabungen wurden im Jahre 1931 von J. H. Craw ausgeführt und ein… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Cairn von Baroile — Der Cairn von Baroile ist ein Clyde tomb im Tal von Rhudil Burn, einem Seitental des Tals von Kilmartin (Schottland). Es liegt auf einer niedrigen Kuppe östlich der A816, etwa 650 m nordöstlich der Mühle von Rhudil. Der ovale grasbedeckte… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Cairn (Steingrab) — Cairn (von schottisch gälisch: Steinmal) ist die auf den Britischen Inseln und ggf. in Frankreich benutzte Bezeichnung für einen künstlichen Hügel aus Bruchgestein, mit dem eine oder mehrere (multi chambered) Kammern einer steinzeitlichen… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Cairn von Skail — Der Cairn von Skail ist der Rest eines runden Cairns (Rundhügel) beim Weiler Skail, nahe der Straße zwischen Strathnaver und Farr in den schottischen Highlands in der Grafschaft Sutherland. Es ist einer der wenigen Cairns (wie Bigland Round) des… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Court cairn — The remains of the chamber of Teergonean court cairn The court cairn or court tomb is a megalithic type of chamber tomb and gallery grave, specifically a variant of the chambered cairn, found in western and northern Ireland, and in mostly… … Wikipedia
Heel-shaped Cairn — Schema eines Stalled Cairns (links), eines Maes Howe typs (mitte) und eines Heel shaped Cairns (rechts) Der heel shaped Cairn (absatzförmiger Steinhügel) und seine meist kreuzförmige Kammer sind eine in Schottland, primär in Caithness und… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Dooey's Cairn — (also known as Ballymacaldrack Court Tomb) is less than a mile south east of Dunloy, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, just off the B16 road and in the townland of Ballymacaldrack. Grid ref: D021183. It is an impressive court tomb, with a u shaped … Wikipedia