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Neolithic Cursus Monument Spotted on Scottish Isle

Friday, January 22, 2021

ARRAN, SCOTLAND—The Scotsman reports that a Neolithic cursus monument was spotted on the Isle of Arran with the use of lidar scanning technology. Such structures were made up of long lines of timber posts that may have marked a processional route. Sometimes the monuments were burned. Dave Cowley of Historic Environment Scotland said this is the first cursus monument to be found on the island. “What this example at Tormore tells is there are probably actually many more of them but because they were built from timber, you are not likely to see them in the unimproved peat landscape of the west coast.” This monument runs to the crest of a ridge, he added. “They have been very careful how they have positioned this monument,” he said. “There probably was a superstructure here but we won’t know for sure without excavation.” Excavation could also reveal if the timbers had been set on fire, he added. For more on Scottish archaeology, go to "Around the World: Scotland."

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