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Caen Burn, Strath of Kildonan

Long Cairn

<b>Caen Burn, Strath of Kildonan</b>Posted by GLADMAN
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<b>Caen Burn, Strath of Kildonan</b>Posted by GLADMAN
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Caen Burn, Strath of Kildonan (Long Cairn) by GLADMAN Caen Burn South Long Cairn [ND01231776]: parting shot.... one of the finest long cairns I've seen this side of Kinbrace Hill. Which is just up the road.
GLADMAN Image Credit: Robert Gladstone
Posted by GLADMAN
19th June 2014ce
NB: Unless otherwise stated, this image is protected under the copyright of the original poster and may not be re-used without permission.

Comments (2)

I'm fascinated by these long cairns. From what I can make out, we don't have them here. Am I right in presuming that the chamber, if there is any, in in the 'head' of the cairn and that the tail is just decorative, so to speak? Or can there be multiple burials/cists all long the monument? ryaner Posted by ryaner
20th June 2014ce
I think you're right. I can't recall coming across a long cairn in Ireland.... that's not to say there aren't any, of course. It's not exactly far from Kintyre to Antrim, after all.

My perception is of long cairns being a version of the long barrow tradition (or vice versa!!) erected where the (lack of) depth of top soil renders use of stone to be more practical.... that is tending to be in upland or mountainous areas. Same as the use of drystone ramparts in hillforts as opposed to great earthen banks.

In my experience there is no strict rule as to where the chamber(s) was/were placed in a long cairn, although studies might contadict this. It is very rare to find a long cairn with certain visible chamber remains, so perhaps excavation at the 'head' signifies more the thought processes of Victorian treasure hunters than actuality, lateral chambers being also prevalent. There is actually more than a suggestion of a lateral chamber in the western monument at Caen Burn, for example. If long cairns float your boat Northern Scotland seems the place to be. Highest concentration of chambered cairns I've seen outside of Ireland, too.

To be honest, however, it is the apparently intact monuments which freak me out... the suggestion that they remain unviolated by the modern world. That's why I thought some of these latest long cairns would provoke more interest since - in my opinion - they are really out of the top drawer, not exactly difficult to get to... but seemingly unknown? But there you are. Seemed to me that the only people around Strath of Kildonan were locals, fishermen and the occasional interested Germans in camper vans.....
21st June 2014ce
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