A chambered cairn is a burial monument, usually constructed during the Neolithic, consisting of a cairn of stones inside which a sizeable (usually stone) chamber was constructed. Some chambered cairns are also passage-graves. They are found throughout Britain and Ireland, with the largest number in Scotland.
Typically, the chamber is larger than a cist, and will contain a larger number of interments, which are either excarnated bones or inhumations (cremations). Most were situated near a settlement, and served as that community's "graveyard".
... Midhowe Chambered Cairn Rousay, Orkney, Scotland 3500 BC A well preserved example of the Orkney-Cromarty type of chambered cairn ... Tomb of the Eagles South Ronaldsay, Orkney, Scotland 3150 BC This chambered tomb was in use for 800 years or more ... Unstan Chambered Cairn Stenness, Mainland Orkney, Scotland 2800-3400 BC An Orkney-Cromarty chambered cairn ...
... On top of the hill, there is a Neolithic chambered cairn, unusual for its position on top of a hill ... Most surviving Neolithic British cairns are sited in prominent places, but not generally on the top of taller hills ... the construction of Sullom Voe Terminal in the mid-1970s, the cairn contained a variety of "sacrifice" items, such as coins (some "very old") and other items ...
Famous quotes containing the word cairn:
“Much wondering to see upon all hands, of wattles and woodwork made,
Your bell-mounted churches, and guardless the sacred cairn and the rath,
And a small and a feeble populace stooping with mattock and spade,
Or weeding or ploughing with faces a-shining with much-toil wet;
While in this place and that place, with bodies unglorious, their chieftains stood....”
—William Butler Yeats (18651939)