Page images

(5) By the TRUSTEES OF THE LATE Dr JAMES YOUNG of Kelly. Bibliotheca Chemica: Catalogue of the Alchemical, Chemical, and Pharmaceutical Books in the Collection of the late Dr James Young of Kelly. Two vols. 4to. 1906.

(6) By JOHN CHRISTIE, the Author.

The Antiquity of Aberfeldy: An Historical Sketch. Pp. 15.

(7) By Lieut.-Col. D. PRAIN, the Author.

A Sketch of the Life of Francis Hamilton (once Buchanan), Superintendent of the Botanic Gardens, Calcutta.

(8) By the INDIA OFFICE.

Archæological Survey of India. Vol. viii. The Muhammedan Architecture of Ahmedabad. Part 2. By Jas. Burgess, C.I.E., LL.D.

(9) By the ROYAL SOCIETY OF ANTIQUARIES, Copenhagen. De Danske Runesmindesmaerker. Af L. A Wimmer.

(10) By the SURREY ARCHEOLOGICAL SOCIETY. Waverley Abbey. By Harold Brakspear. 8vo. 1905.

Tredie Bind.

(11) By W. H. KNOWLES, the Author.

The Premonstratensian Abbey of St Mary, Blanchland. 8vo. Pp. 14.
Aydon Castle, Northumberland. 4to. Pp. 18.

The following Communications were read :


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]



Early in 1906 an artificial mound, on the estate of Forglen, belonging to Sir George W. Abercromby, Bart., was explored under the direction of Mr Douglas Abercromby, who kindly granted me permission to examine the site and record the discoveries.

The mound is situated in a plantation called Meadowheads Wood, within the policies of Forglen House, of a mile south of the mansion and 550 yards north-east of the Kirk of Forglen, in the parish of the same name in Banffshire. On the Ordnance Survey map the site is marked "Tumulus," and it stands above the 300-feet contour line, on the eastern slope of a hill running in a northerly direction parallel to the river Deveron, which is mile distant and 200 feet lower. Before the trees surrounding the site were planted, the mound would command an extensive view of the opposite side of the valley of the Deveron to the east. Rather more than a furlong to the S.S.E., in a field under cultivation, there is another mound surrounded by a trench, almost obliterated by the plough, and about 7 furlongs to the northeast there is a cairn. On the Ordnance map the former is marked "Rounie Law," and the latter, Barbara's Hillock-Stone Coffin containing Human Remains found A.D. 1850."

The Forglen tumulus (fig. 1) is nearly circular in shape, it measures from about 64 to 68 feet in diameter, and rises in the centre to a height of 7 feet above the natural surface of the ground. It is almost entirely composed of yellow sand mixed with clay, no stones having been used in its construction except as adjuncts to two of the deposits in the cairn. It resembles the English earthen barrow more than the Scottish cairn, which as a rule is largely composed of stones. Mr Andrew Bell, the forester on the estate, who supervised the excavations and from whose

careful observations I am enabled to give many of the following details, informed me that the soil of which the mound was composed was not to be found in the immediate neighbourhood.

The first discovery made in excavating the mound was near its southwest edge, where, at a depth of 6 inches under the surface, a flat, rectangular, causeyed pavement A was exposed. It was 6 feet long by 3 feet broad, and its longer axis was north-west and south-east. This causeyed area was not level, but was laid at an angle following the slope of the mound. The 6-inch layer of mould that covered this space was dark in colour, apparently being composed of decayed vegetable matter like leaf-mould. At no other part of the surface of the mound was there anything like this thickness of vegetable mould. The stones used in the construction of the pavement were water-worn pebbles of quartz and quartzite varying from about 3 to 6 inches in diameter, and they were generally light grey in colour. Under the pavement there was nothing but the yellow sandy clay of the cairn.

The excavations were continued towards the centre of the mound, and 17 feet from the inner edge of the first pavement a second causeyed area was met with, 2 feet under the surface of the cairn, which at this spot was about 6 feet high. This pavement B differed from the first pavement in being laid level, and it was only 3 feet square. At a depth of 1 foot below it and 3 feet from the surface of the mound, a complete urn (No. 2) of the drinking-cup type (fig. 3) was found standing on its base but leaning slightly to one side. It rested on a deposit of black burnt material largely composed of charred wood, which surrounded it to a thickness of 1 foot. Between the top of the urn and the overhead pavement, and above the pavement, there was yellow sandy clay only. No bones were observed in the blackened soil under, or surrounding the urn.

From a point C near the middle of the inner edge of the second and smaller pavement, two straight but diverging rows of single pebbles extended forward, the first on the left CD in a north-easterly direction, the second on the right CE in a more easterly direction for a distance of

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]




[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]




1 ...

Fig. 1. Ground-Plan and Section of the Mound at Forglen.

[ocr errors]

40 Feet


40 Feet.

2 feet, when it turned abruptly to the left, and after running 2 feet, joined the first row 2 feet from the edge of the pavement, thus forming a triangle. From the junction of the rows D a single row of pebbles continued across the mound, in a slightly more northerly direction than the first row, for about 11 feet, terminating in a second black deposit almost in contact with the base of another urn (No. 3) of the drinkingcup type (fig. 4). The rows of pebbles were laid almost level, and the stones forming them and the second pavement were of the same shape, size, and material, as those used in the formation of the first-discovered paved area.

After discovering the second pavement, and the urn and rows of pebbles connected with it, instead of carrying the working face of the digging right to the bottom of the mound, the excavators followed up the rows of pebbles till they exposed the urn just mentioned (No. 3). It was in fragments, but from the position of the base it was evident that the vessel had been placed on its base. It was covered with 16 inches of sand. The fragments of the urn were entirely embedded in a black deposit of material similar in composition and extent to that accompanying the first-discovered urn (No. 2). No fragments of bone were observed.

The second urn having been unearthed, the portion of the mound between it and the first urn, which had not been explored pending the examination of the rows of pebbles, was excavated down to the natural surface of the ground. Slightly east of the centre of the mound a third but much larger black deposit was encountered, in the middle of which, and at a depth of 5 feet from the surface of the cairn, yet another urn (No. 1) of the drinking-cup type (fig. 2) was found. This urn, which was quite embedded in the black material, was lying crushed on its side, but as the base was lying horizontal, it was seen that it had been deposited erect on its base like the other two vessels. Underneath the urn in the black deposit were the remains of a skeleton, which had been placed in a shallow, saucer-shaped grave, 1 foot in depth and 5 feet in diameter, dug into the natural surface of the ground. Very few of the bones of

« PreviousContinue »