Ancient Monuments

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Valleyview, cairn 90m ENE of

A Scheduled Monument in East Garioch, Aberdeenshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.2373 / 57°14'14"N

Longitude: -2.3256 / 2°19'32"W

OS Eastings: 380445

OS Northings: 816334

OS Grid: NJ804163

Mapcode National: GBR XC.GN67

Mapcode Global: WH8P3.7CT4

Entry Name: Valleyview, cairn 90m ENE of

Scheduled Date: 20 February 2009

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12435

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Fintray

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: East Garioch

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

Description

The monument comprises the remains of a cairn of neolithic or Bronze-Age date. It survives as a stony mound near the summit of an un-named hill, at about 70m above sea level.

The monument measures 19m in diameter and 1.35m in height. In the top and S flank of the cairn there is a hollow, probably relating to the owner's excavation of 1976 and, on the east, a rectangular depression that probably indicates the location of the Kintore Landscape Project excavation trench in 2004. A small sherd of pottery and a small calcined flint flake were found on the monument in 1974, and a cup-marked stone has also been found at the monument.

The area to be scheduled is circular in plan, to include the remains described and an area around within which evidence relating to their construction and use may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The above-ground elements of the electricity pylon on the south-east are specifically excluded from the scheduling, to allow for its maintenance; the scheduling extends up to but excludes the post-and-wire fences on the west and north.

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 neolithic or Bronze-Age cairn. Excavation has revealed that the cairn survives to a height of 1.35m and is situated on a natural knoll. It consists of a dump of stones of local origin, among which archaeologists found 14 pieces of flint and quartz debitage in 2004. These excavations also revealed that the cup-marked stone had been chocked into position and that the lower portions of the cairn were previously undisturbed. A thin charcoal layer at the base of the cairn yielded radiocarbon dates in the second half of the 4th millennium BC, suggesting that there was activity on the site during the neolithic. Other finds suggest that there may also have been activity on the site in the Bronze Age. As the excavation concentrated on a small proportion of the monument, the monument retains the potential to further our understanding of neolithic or Bronze-Age funerary practices, as well as inform our knowledge of the structural features of large burial monuments.

Contextual characteristics

This monument's importance is enhanced by its location in a lowland setting, where few upstanding monuments survive. The monument belongs to a diverse group of around 165 surviving neolithic or Bronze-Age burial cairns in Strathdon, of which 71 have been removed. It is part of a much larger, contemporary burial tradition encompassing much of Scotland. Monuments like this across Strathdon share aspects of the same construction style, use and relative position in the landscape. This example is particularly significant, because a cup-marked stone was found in it, apparently in its original position. The location of such sites was extremely important and it is significant that this cairn would have been intervisible with the long barrow at Forest Road, Kintore. The spatial analysis of this cairn and other ceremonial and domestic sites, such as those nearby, may further our understanding of funerary site location, the structure and nature of society and the neolithic or Bronze-Age economy.

National Importance

This monument is of national importance because it has the potential to contribute to an understanding of the past, in particular neolithic or 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 surface 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 neolithic or Bronze-Age ritual landscape, as well as our knowledge of neolithic or Bronze-Age social structure and economy.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NJ81NW35, Waterside: cairn. The monument is recorded in the Aberdeenshire SMR as NJ81NW0028, Wester Fintray: Cairns; Flints; Pottery; Rigs.

References:

Cook M et al, WESTER FINTRAY, Edinburgh: draft report from Kintore Landscape Project.

Cook M et al 2004, 'Kintore Landscape Project (Fintray parish): Mesolithic flint scatter; Neolithic and Bronze Age lithics; metalworking; cairn; cup-marked boulder', DISCOVERY EXCAV SCOT 5, 15-16.

RCAHMS 2007, IN THE SHADOW OF BENNACHIE: THE FIELD ARCHAEOLOGY OF DONSIDE, ABERDEENSHIRE, Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Other nearby scheduled monuments

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