Moray HER - NJ17SE0001 - SCULPTORS' CAVE, COVESEA

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Main Details

Primary ReferenceNJ17SE0001
NameSCULPTORS' CAVE, COVESEA
NRHE Card No.NJ17SE1
NRHE Numlink 16278
HES SM No. 4220
HES LB No.
Site Form Standing Structure
Site Condition Complete 2
Details Cave, with multi-phase occupation, named from the Pictish sculptures which are carved on to the walls. Symbols include the fish, crescent and V-rod, pentacle, triple vessica, step, mirror case and also rectangular symbols. The cave has two side-by-side entrances partially boarded up. From these entrances two passages run into a large impressive interior. The floor near the entrance is of trampled earth and in the interior of loose shingle. Excavations were carried out in 1928-30 and 1979, and a large number of finds from various periods, including a significant assemblage of Late Bronze Age metalwork (including armlets), and metalwork, pottery and coins from the Roman Iron Age were recorded. A number of children's bones were also recovered in the deposits. Re-analysis of the human remains in 2007 suggested that the cave was the site of complex mortuary practices from the Late Bronze Age to the mid First Millennium AD. An excavation was carried out by the University of Bradford in 2014 on what is believed to be the spoil heap from the 1928-30 excavations, with the aim of recovering any discarded bone from the 1930 investigations. A total of 103 fragments of human bone were recovered, as well as a bone pin and an Iron Age yellow glass bead. The cave was also laser-scanned at this time, and a 3D model produced.
Last Update05/06/2019
Updated Bycpalmer
CompilerSB
Date of Compilation19/10/1977

Easting: 317503.29, Northing: 870718.637

Google Map for NJ17SE0001

National Grid Reference: NJ 1750 7071



Event Details

Event DateEvent TypeOASIS ID
1929 Excavation
1979 Excavation
2014 Excavation

Excavations and Surveys

Date MDate YTypeDurationDirector / OrganisationAuspicesFundExtent
 1979  I & A ShepherdGRCHS 
 1929  S BENTON  80
 1979  IAG SHEPHERDGRCSDD 
52014 Excavation  L Buster; I ArmitHSABS 

Artefact and Ecofact

Date MDate YArtefact TypeFinderRecovery MethodConditionStorage LocationAccess No.
01928 BRONZE ARMLETS SB Excavation National Museum of Scotland  
01929 BRONZE NEEDLES SB Excavation National Museum of Scotland  
01929 PINS SB Excavation National Museum of Scotland  
01929 TOILET INSTRUMENTS SB Excavation National Museum of Scotland  
01929 ROMAN COINS SB Excavation National Museum of Scotland  
01929 GLASS BEADS SB Excavation National Museum of Scotland  
01929 AMBER BEADS SB Excavation National Museum of Scotland  
01929 JET BEADS SB Excavation National Museum of Scotland  
01929 RING-MONEY SB Excavation National Museum of Scotland  
01929 BRONZE RINGS SB Excavation National Museum of Scotland  
01929 BONE TOOLS SB Excavation National Museum of Scotland  
01979 FLAT RIM WARE IAGS Excavation National Museum of Scotland  
01929 SAMIAN WARE SB Excavation National Museum of Scotland  
01929 FLINT KNIFE SB Excavation National Museum of Scotland  
01929 FLINT SCRAPER SB Excavation National Museum of Scotland  
 1929 PENANNULAR BROOCH SB Excavation National Museum of Scotland  
 1998 HUMAN VERTEBRA Stray Find National Museum of Scotland X.1998.49

Ecofact

Samples
Palynology Kevin Edwards, Belfast.
Ecofact Notes

Monument Types

Monument Type 1Monument Type 2Monument Type 3OrderProbability
CAVESINHABITED A100
POTTERYSHERDFLAT-RIM WAREB100
RING-MONEYGOLDFACSIMILEC100
RINGSBRONZE D100
HEARTHS  E100
BRACELETSBRONZEPENANNULARF100
NEEDLESBONENETTINGG100
SCOOPSBONE H100
AWLSBONE I100
NEEDLESBONE J100
PINSBONE K100
PRICKERSBONE L100
PUNCHERSBONE M100
POTTERY  N100
STONES PERFORATEDO100
KNIVESFLINT P100
SCRAPERSFLINT Q100
RINGSBRONZECOILEDR100
BRACELETSBRONZETWISTEDS100
PENDANTS  T100
BEADSBRONZE U100
PINSBRONZE V100
INSTRUMENTSBRONZETOILETW100
BEADSJET X100
BEADSAMBER Y100
BEADSGLASS Z100
SHEATHSBONE AA100
COMBSBONE AB100
RINGSBONEFLATAC100
BEADSBONE AD100
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