Cairn (No. 55) was, before excavation, "composed of several hundred cart-loads of
stones," ¹ and the great cairn on the West Lomond also would appear to have been
at one time much larger than it now is.
Such of these constructions as have been excavated were found to possess certain
features in common. Within the margin of each was a setting of stones, which at
Calais Muir (No. 215) was continuou,s but at Newton of Collessie and Greenhill
(No. 63) was incomplete or incompleted, ² while at Harelaw Cairn the stones formed
the foundations of a wall, and at Norrie's Law (No. 378) of two rude concentric
walls. At Balbirnie (No. 418) this feature seems to be represented by an external
circle of standing stones. Again, each cairn had apparently been raised over a central
cist for an unburnt burial, but secondary interments of cremated remains were found
in the subsoil, except in the case of Calais Muir, where they were in the body of the
tumulus. In the Harelaw Cairn and at Calais Muir the central cist had its joints
cemented with a clay or ochreous substance. From the cist at Newton of Collessie
came half of a handsome urn of drinking-cup or "beaker" type (Fig. 7); at Calais
Muir the urn within the cist was a "food-vessel," while there was no urn in the cist
of Harelaw Cairn. On the other hand, the urns from the burials in the subsoil of the
cairns were mostly food-vessels, ³ although one from the Newton example was of the
beaker type, and in the Calais Muir tumulus the secondary interments were all
accompanied by cinerary urns. A tapering blade of bronze was found in one of the
burials underlying the cairn at Newton, Collessie. These facts appear to provide
evidence of the cairns having been intermittently used for sepulchral purposes
throughout at least the greater part of the period that immediately preceded the
introduction of iron.

Burials without Cairn or Tumulus : Cemeteries. - The number of burials of
this class throughout the district is very large. Of isolated examples the most interest-
ing is that recorded at Dairsie, Fife (No. 179), where a beaker urn (Fig. 5) and four barbed
arrow-heads of flint (Fig. 14) were found within a cist. Grouped burials, however, forming
small cemeteries, have been reported in greater numbers from Fife than from any other
county in Scotland. One at Pitreavie (No. 217) contained six cists placed close to
each other, from which came three urns of food-vessel type. At Wormistone (No. 133)
were thirty cists disposed in two regular rows at equal distances apart. There is
also a record ⁴ of a group of over a dozen cists, containing cinerary urns and "incense-
cups" at Denbeath near Methil. More numerous than the cemeteries of cists are
those of cinerary urns containing cremated remains. At Kingskettle, in the parish of
Kettle, (No. 309) four cinerary urns and one apparently of the incense-cup variety
occurred together. An urnfield in the parish of Ceres (No. 110) is said to have consisted
of a central urn with thirty others arranged round it in a circle. At Lawhead,
St Andrews, (No. 483) were found a score of cinerary urns containing or covering burnt
bones. A determining fact here was the discovery in one urn of "two thin bronze knives

1 Proc. Soc. Ant. Scot., xxvi (1891-2), p. 117.
2 At Newton "we did not meet with it on the south-east side.... It seemed therefore as if it had not
completely encircled the cairn." - Anderson's Scotland in Pagan Times, p. 5.
3 The food-vessel is confined to the British Isles and is believed to have been evolved from a Neolithic
type, while the larger cinerary urn is regarded as the direct descendant of the food-vessel. Further, the
appearance of the beaker, which was introduced from the Continent, is believed to coincide with the
beginning of a Bronze culture, and the cinerary urn to be a product of its full development.
4 Reliquary and Illustrated Archaeologist, July 1907, pp. 189-93.

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