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Hurnip's Point

Chambered Cairn (Destroyed)


In 1991 an archaeologist surveying nausts discovered the remains of a structure against the end of one of the two by the west end of a rise at Hurnip's Point. This proved to be a chambered cairn (in outline like a tadpole), that had been quarried for their construction. RCAHMS NMRS record no. HY50NW 58 at HY54480634 may be a linear series of cairns, alternatively, and narrows over its present 60m length from 15m at the coast (where there appear to be excavation pits) to 6m at the other end, being 1-2m high. A section on the landward side (part of the 30m tail end of the tadpole) uncovered kerbing and a chamber/passage of 1.7m width. The excavator saw it as resembling the Head of Work Long Cairn and Staney Hill cairns but with the horns lost to the sea.

Steedman's dissertatation "Archaeology of Deerness" in the Orkney Library regarding the Hurnip's Point nausts mentions the "whole mound" as covered by two contiguous buildings (let's be generous and call them structures) of 11 by 10m and 6 by 6m. Obviously these had gone well before excavation started. The whole mound is much larger than the structures dimensions, being 60m long at the time of the dig, but is strikingly similar to that of the two adjacent depressions near the cliff edge posited as possibly excavated chambers - these the excavator describing as 10 and 8m diameter.
wideford Posted by wideford
4th July 2006ce
Edited 26th June 2007ce

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