Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Craiglea, cairn 265m west of

A Scheduled Monument in Westhill and District, Aberdeenshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.1632 / 57°9'47"N

Longitude: -2.5194 / 2°31'9"W

OS Eastings: 368686

OS Northings: 808156

OS Grid: NJ686081

Mapcode National: GBR X1.KRLN

Mapcode Global: WH8PD.86KZ

Entry Name: Craiglea, cairn 265m W of

Scheduled Date: 19 December 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12122

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: cairn (type uncertain)

Location: Midmar

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Westhill and District

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

Description

The monument comprises a Bronze-Age burial cairn that survives as a grass-covered mound. It is sited in an area of pasture on a false crest on a S-facing hill, at around 200m above sea level.

The sub-circular cairn measures around 13m in diameter and stands to a height of around 0.5m. No stones of the cairn are visible.

The area to be scheduled is circular on plan, centred on the top of the mound, to include the remains described and an area around within which evidence relating to its construction and use may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

The monument's cultural significance can be expressed as follows:

Intrinsic characteristics

The monument is visible as an upstanding feature, a relatively well-preserved example of a Bronze-Age cairn. Similar monuments have revealed more than one burial. The mound is likely to seal a buried land surface and this could provide evidence of the environment during the Bronze Age when the monument was constructed and used. The monument has the potential to further our understanding of Bronze-Age funerary practices, as well as inform our knowledge of the structural features of large burial monuments. The area surrounding the monument is extensively marked with rig and furrow remains, suggesting a high level of cultivation in the past.

Contextual characteristics

This monument belongs to a diverse group of around 165 surviving Bronze-Age burial cairns in the Strathdon area. Almost half of these have now been completely removed, the rest, including this example, surviving as visible and upstanding monuments to varying degrees. The location of such sites was extremely important, and this particular example has wide views of the surrounding landscape, including to Barmekin of Echt. Spatial analysis of this cairn and other burial sites may further our understanding of funerary site location, the structure of Bronze-Age society and economy.

National Importance

This monument is of national importance because it has the potential to contribute to an understanding of the past, in particular Bronze-Age burial architecture and practice in Scotland. It also fits into a distinctive pattern of prehistoric burial and settlement in the Strathdon area. Skeletal remains and artefacts from such burials have the potential to tell us about wider prehistoric society, how people lived, where they came from and who they had contact with. The old ground surfaces sealed by the monument can provide information about what the contemporary environment looked like and how the prehistoric people who interred their dead here managed the surrounding land. The loss of this monument would impede our ability to understand the placing of such monuments within the landscape, as well as our knowledge of Bronze-Age social structure and economy.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS record the site as NJ60NE 95.

References:

RCAHMS 2007, IN THE SHADOW OF BENNACHIE: THE FIELD ARCHAEOLOGY OF DONSIDE, ABERDEENSHIRE, Edinburgh: Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Other nearby scheduled monuments

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