Site near Scotland’s Loch Ness may have been a preferred Bronze Age burial ground


The recent infrastructural development of Drumnadrochit, a village lying on the west shore of the famed Loch Ness, has brought forth its fortuitous share of interesting archaeological findings. Back in 2015, a 4000-year old cist (stone-lined grave) was discovered while construction work was going on at the Drumnadrochit Medical Center. And this year, a second grave has been discovered in the area by the AOC Archaeology Group, the very same organization who were called upon during the first ‘encounter’.


Mary Peteranna, an operations Manager for AOC Archaeology’s Inverness office, mentioned –

The discovery of a second Bronze Age cist on the site provides increasing evidence for the special selection of this site in the prehistoric landscape as a location for the ceremonial funerary activity. This cist, along with the medical center cist and a second burial pit, is generating much more information about the prehistory of Glen Urquhart. Historically, there was a large cairn shown on maps of the area but you can imagine that centuries of plowing in these fields have removed any upstanding reminders of prehistoric occupation.

Now in terms of archaeology, the first grave actually contained the remains of a human. The second grave in the Loch Ness area, while being unfortunately affected by soil-based degradation, revealed a single Beaker pot that was possibly a funerary offering made to the buried person. Pertaining to this object, the Beaker culture thrived between 2800-1800 BC in various parts of prehistoric western Europe, ranging from late Neolithic to early Bronze Age period. In fact, one of the Beaker people, whose remains were discovered in 1987 at the site of Achavanich (or Achadh a’ Mhanaich in Gaelic) in the northern tip of Scotland, was reconstructed in 2016.


As for the discovery in question here, the particular pot with its ‘simple incised decoration’ (pictured above) is similar in design to the typically flared necks and geometric patterns found in other specimens of Beaker pottery. The Bronze Age object dates from circa 2200-1900 BC, though the researchers have to conduct further analysis to determine its purpose relating to the potential funerary scope of the site.


Source: BBC / All Images Credit: AOC Archaeology