Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

4 Shethin Cottages, cairn 310m WNW of

A Scheduled Monument in Mid Formartine, Aberdeenshire

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »
Street or Overhead View
Contributor Photos »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.

Coordinates

Latitude: 57.3855 / 57°23'7"N

Longitude: -2.1988 / 2°11'55"W

OS Eastings: 388147

OS Northings: 832804

OS Grid: NJ881328

Mapcode National: GBR N9X6.CCX

Mapcode Global: WH9PJ.6M6K

Entry Name: 4 Shethin Cottages, cairn 310m WNW of

Scheduled Date: 30 March 2009

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM12426

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Tarves

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Mid Formartine

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

Description

The monument comprises the remains of a cairn of probable neolithic or Bronze-Age date. It survives as a ring of approximately twelve stones, which bears a superficial resemblance to a stone circle. The monument is located on the summit of Fountain Hill at around 85m above sea level.

The monument measures approximately 5m in diameter and the tallest orthostat measures a maximum of 1.6m in height. Most of the stones, however, measure less than 0.4m in height. The interior appears featureless but probing has revealed some stone below the topsoil.

The area to be scheduled is circular on plan, centred on the monument, 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.

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. 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 neolithic or Bronze Age when the monument was constructed and used. The monument has 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 lies just outside RCAHMS' Strathdon survey area and is not therefore included in their analysis of around 165 surviving Bronze-Age burial cairns in that area, of which 71 have been removed. However, the general observations regarding distribution remain relevant to the monument's context. Spatial analysis of this cairn and other burial sites may further our understanding of funerary site location, the structure of society and the neolithic and Bronze-Age economy. The location of such sites was extremely important and in this case provides particularly strong views to the south, south-east and south-west, across the valley of the Yowlie Burn. A standing stone once stood 130m to the north-east, close to the site of a penannular ring-ditch that has shown in cropmarks. There was another cairn about 410m to the NNW, now destroyed. The spatial analysis of this cairn and other burial sites may further our understanding of funerary site location, the structure and nature of society (in the absence of obvious settlement remains from this period) and the Bronze-Age economy.

Associative characteristics

The monument has long been interpreted as a small stone circle and is marked as such on the 1st and 2nd Editions of the Ordnance Survey 6" map.

National Importance

This monument is of national importance because it has the potential to contribute to our 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 NJ83SE6, Shethin: cairn. Aberdeenshire SMR records the monument as NJ83SE0005, Shethin: stone circles, stones.

References:

Burl A 1976, THE STONE CIRCLES OF THE BRITISH ISLES, London: Yale University Press, 188, 353.

Coles F 1902, 'Report on stone circles in Abereenshire (Inverurie, Eastern Parishes and Insch Districts), with measured plans and drawings, obtained under the Gunning Fellowship', PROC SOC ANTIQ SCOT 36, 526-7.

Keiller A 1934, MEGALITHIC MONUMENTS OF NORTH-EAST SCOTLAND, BEING A PAPER READ ON SEPTEMBER 7TH, 1934, AT THE MEETING OF THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION AT ABERDEEN, London: The Morven Institute of Archaeological Research.

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

Thom A S and Burl A 1980, MEGALITHIC RINGS: PLANS AND DATA FOR 229 MONUMENTS IN BRITAIN, Oxford: Brit Archaeol Rep.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Other nearby scheduled monuments

AncientMonuments.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact AncientMonuments.uk for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself.

AncientMonuments.uk is a Good Stuff website.