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- HER number: MEL6553
- Site Name: Pencraig Hill
- Grid Reference: 356734 676239
- Civil Parish:
- Summary: Probable earlier Neolithic long mortuary enclosure and cist, later Mesolithic microlith
- Description: NT57NE 225 568 763
(1) NT 568 763 Evaluation work on the upgrading of the A1 revealed a series of archaeological remains. The features here consisted of a sub-trapezoidal ditch, a cremation pyre and small cist. A burned palisade screen was detected running around the ditch, cremated bone and burnt wood were found within the pyre, and conjoining rim sherds of Neolithic pottery were found. (GUARD 1300)
Scottish Executive Department of Transport and Planning
K McLellan 2002
NMRS REPORT DATE: 18/08/2003
(2, 3) In July 2002, GUARD undertook an excavation at Pencraig Hill as part of the A1 Upgrade Project. This followed topsoil strip monitoring carried out in July 2002 along the proposed route of the new A1, which revealed an area of archaeological interest at Pencraig Hill. The excavation revealed a group of features which are likely to be an earlier Neolithic long mortuary enclosure. The enclosure was formed by a palisade trench, enclosing a sub-trapezoidal area 20m by 15m by 20m, with an open end at the south west. A cist was located slightly to the south of the gap between the side ditches. It was sub-oval in shape, c. 2m by 1.5m, and lined with chert blocks. A pyre was located within the palisaded enclosure, measuring c. 4.5m by 2.6m. A pit and large burnt timbers appeared to be part of the construction of the pyre, which were sealed by deposits containing charcoal and burnt bone. A large scooped feature was also located within the enclosure. Pottery of earlier Neolithic date was recovered. The site would appear to represent an earlier Neolithic long mortuary enclosure with an associated internal mortuary structure, subsequently used as a pyre, that may have subsequently been capped by an earthen long barrow.
The cist contained both burnt and unburnt human bone. The latter produced a radiocarbon date of 170 BC - AD 30.
- For more information contact: East Lothian Council HER
- Related Places:
- Associated Periods:
- (1) Bibliographic reference: McLellan, K. 2002. 'Pencraig Hill, East Lothian (Prestonkirk parish), evaluation', Discovery Excav Scot Vol. 3 2002, p.41. 41.
- (2) Unpublished document: McLellan, K. 2003. Pencraig Hill, East Lothian.
- (3) Monograph: Lelong, O and MacGregor, G. 2008. The Lands of Ancient Lothian: Interpreting the Archaeology of the A1.