|Went back to the original newspaper article, and finding out who found the cists could establish the whereabouts more precisely. In the 1850s John Delday brought some Deerness land into cultivation at what became Greentoft,.His son George found the "Milldam Farm" cist barrow in 1861 when extracting clay (one of two mounds on the summit) whilst Petrie was excavating a settlement on the hillslope. In 1869 George Delday found Bloody Quoy whilst bringing land at Greentoft into cultivation for his son-in-law. As there was a milldam behind Greentoft Farm the inevitable conclusion is that Greentoft and Milldam are one and the same, and highly likely that Bloody Quoy is the Milldam site even though this is on a false crest rather than the 'true' summit..
In 1861 during the time Petrie was digging the low hill Mr Delday found eleven cists in assorted sizes. They contained burnt bones in quantity, and outside the cists more in a couple of "crudely fashioned clay urns". One fell apart on lifting, the other being too fragile measured in situ 17" deep and 12" wide diminishing to 6", the average thickness 5/8 of an inch. Altogether the barrow held eleven cists. One near the centre, described as level with the surface, had its crude coverstone topped by a stone block some 5' by 4' by 7" thick ! The flag sides were neatly fitted together. The other cists. not as well formed, surrounded this cist but with their bottoms level with the central one's top. Petrie only saw three in the west side of the mound for himself, and his rough drawing only shows five of the total. The largest of those he saw, three foot square and about 2¼' deep, held another some one foot square which contained burnt bone. The second, adjoining cist, was narrower and the third smaller yet. Both of these also contained burnt human bone, and shingle and loose stones surrounded them both.
In 1869 either side of the road is the site of Bloody Quoy ( HY50NE 6 at HY56670696, also Anglicised as Blood Field). Also called after nearby Greentoft. I think the record is a little confused about the other find - in May 1869 at Delday a G Delday found a long cist whilst ploughing, 5' long, 3'6" deep but only 1'8" wide. The heaped bones of two skeletons were found at either end. A polished granitic cushion mace-head was found here, probably on the northern side and measuring 4 5/8" long by 2¼" wide by 1¼" thick. A later farmer reported near the cist site an ~20mD cairn-like feature straddling the road included burnt earth and stone. Amongst the rough stones of which this was composed one strongly resembled a trough quern, which is another indicator of a Neolithic date.
Regarding Petrie's investigations on the slope, he found building traces and vessel frogments under the soil to which he attributed a Broch Age date. More specifically he mentions a wedge-shaped stone tapering in thickness with deep notches at the thinner end, perhaps a stake he thought, of a type found either in or about brochs. Mind you, they thought Skaill to be Iron Age (or later !!) well into Childe's investigations.
Posted by wideford
25th January 2014ce
wideford's TMA Blog
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