|The cist grave showing the collapsed capstone.|
Thursday, 4 July 2013
Pictish burial revealed!
It's been a very busy few days, especially for Jennifer who has been working hard on one of our Pictish square barrow burials. Within the smaller barrow on site was a fantastic stone lined grave called a cist. These types of burials have stone slabs lining the edge of the grave cut and often have a large capstone on top. The capstone of our burial had cracked and fallen into the grave at some point in the past, but the stone lining helped preserve some very fragmented skeletal remains. This has taken some time to excavate and record carefully, but Jennifer has done a fine job. The Picts did not normally bury their dead with grave goods and there was nothing inside the burial. Our other square barrow burial, being dug by Orshi, does not have a stone lining. Instead, we think that we have a 'coffin stain' - a darker soil showing up around the edges of the grave cut, suggesting a different type of burial rite being used. Variation like this is common in Pictish cemeteries.