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3 November 2014
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COAST
Dunchraigaig
Dunchraigaig and Ballymeanoch
Further down the Glen you come to first Dunchraigaig, then Ballymeanoch. Dunchraigaig was first excavated by Mapleton, and then in 1864, by Greenwell. They found three cists. They discovered in the first: a food vessel, cremated bone and charcoal and flint chippings as well as a crouched burial. In the second they found burnt and unburnt bone from eight to ten individuals, a whetstone, greenstone axe, flint knife and pottery fragments. In a third and hidden cist they also found a food vessel, cremated bone and flint chippings.

They discovered in the first: a food vessel, cremated bone and charcoal and flint chippings as well as a crouched burial. In the second they found burnt and unburnt bone from eight to ten individuals, a whetstone, greenstone axe, flint knife and pottery fragments. In a third and hidden cist they also found a food vessel, cremated bone and flint chippings.

Ballymeanoch (sometimes rendered Ballymeanach) is perhaps the least developed or contextualised of the Kilmartin Glen sites. It's no less impressive for it, though at first glance appears little more than a field with some rubble.

The site was excavated in 1864 by Greenwell and the remains of three burials and a fragmentary Beaker were found in the second cist.

Ballymeanoch
Ballymeanoch

The Ballymeanoch henge monument is unusual in Argyll but certainly relates to the other elements of the ritual landscape that surround it. It's eroded and denuded and has thus far been given the least recognition of all the sites, though it is doubtful that this is anything other than a trick of fate.

It's thought to have been about 21 m in diameter with two burial cists one which held an early Bronze Age beaker.

Some have suggested that the Ballymeanoch and Nether Largie South sites were part of a Bronze Age 'lunar observatory', possibly including plotting the complexities of the lunar orbit and enabling the prediction of eclipses. As John and Julia Keay write: "If so eclipse prediction would have been an impressive means of social control by a religious elite."

 

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