|Prior to Farrer's 1854 excavation this was an apparently untouched tumulus, about five feet high with very steep sides, but subsequent (unrecorded) digs have removed all recognisable traces of his work. He and Petrie found cists at the south and north sides 2-3 feet down. The former, about 6 feet from the centre, measured 2'6"x2'x2'1" internally, but had side slabs 5'10" long and an irregular capstone 4' by 2'6". This cist had been sealed with clay, but the 1½" thick flags were much deteriorated and at odd angles. Within this a large steatite urn sat upon the meeting of four slabs and contained burnt bones and ashes. On the other side of the barrow they found a slightly smaller cist, at 2'9½" by 1'7", that held a small clay-and-gravel urn. The urn held only a few small pieces of stone, being mostly filled with what is described as soil. It fell apart in Kirkwal. However there were many bones laid on a flag in the NW corner beneath fine soil. Petrie reports the later finding of a broken pestle (??macehead, perhaps THM 1985.34 ??) and a stone vessel with two rows of ringmarks like those seen about the steatite urn.
Posted by wideford
22nd September 2007ce