Scots Roots


Cairnpapple Hill
July 9, 2016, 10:47 am
Filed under: Scottish History, West Lothian | Tags: ,

Cairnpapple 1Cairnpapple Hill, to the north of Bathgate in West Lothian, is one of the most important prehistoric sites on mainland Scotland. The site was excavated in the 1940s by Professor Piggott of the University of Edinburgh. He discovered that the site had been in use from around 5,500 years ago.

Cairnpapple 2Traces of six hearths from that period were discovered but these were later covered by a henge monument consisting of a large oval bank surrounded by a ditch enclosing a ring of 24 wooden posts.

The wood has long since rotted away but the post holes can still be seen.

Cairnpapple 3The henge fell out of use around 4,000 years ago but the area continued to be used as a burial site.

Cairnpapple 4Several burial cists have been found but these were eventually covered by a large burial cairn measuring 30 metres in diameter. The 1940s excavation has now been partly covered by a concrete dome replicating one of the earlier cairns. Visitors can enter the cairn by means of a stepladder to see reconstructions of two of the early graves.

Cairnpapple 5

Cairnpapple 6

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2 Comments so far
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We went there last year – can’t believe it took us so long to discover it! Absolutely fascinating, and the views are tremendous too.

Comment by Anabel Marsh

so interesting. I love these sites. Maybe next year I will be back!

Comment by the dune mouse




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