Throughout the prehistoric period, and indeed well
into historic times, Selkirkshire was, by virtue of its
geogrpahical position, poor soil and uncongenial
climate a remote and relatively unimportant back-
water. Hemmed in on three sides by an almost con-
tinuous chain of mountains and high moorland, whose
few natural outlets were of little account until the
modern high-way system was laid down, the greater
part of the region was in fact virtually a cul-de-sac
only easily accessible from the east. Under these
circumstances it is not surprising that structural
remains earlier in date than the Middle Ages are com-
paratively few in number, and are mainly to be found
in the more fertile uplands at the E. end of the county,
where, in the absence of any physical barrier corre-
sponding with the present administrative dividing-
line, they form an integral part of the W. Roxburgh-
shire series. The cultural unity embracing the adjacent
areas of both counties in t he early times makes it un-
necessary to repeat here what has recently been stated
at length in the Inventory of Roxburghshire regarding
the background against which the prehistoric,,
Roman and Dark Age monuments must in turn be
viewed; in the following introductory articles under
these heads attention is accordingly focussed for the
most part on the purely local significance of the
remains, while Part II of the Introduction to the
Inventory of Roxburghshire is reproduced in Appendix
C to illustrate their general setting. The sections that
deal with the mediaeval and later with their Roxburghshire
counterparts in the same Appendix

(i) Cairns, ETC.
Although the small groups of food-gatherers who represent
the first colonists of Selkirkshire were
established in the county round about the end of the
third millennium B.C; (1) no structures attributable to
these peoples. or to the succeeding Neolithic agr-
cultural communities, have so far been recognised in
the county; and the earliest monuments that come
within the scope of this Inventory are three, or pos-
sibly four, short cists, and eleven round cairns, (2) all of
which may be ascribed with certainty or probablity
to earlier phases of the Bronze Age (circa 1700)-
1200 B.C.) A date within the same general limits
would also be appropriate fort he single standing
stones Nos. 171, 172 and 173, the stone setting on
Bught Rig (No. 203)and the unenclosed stone-walled
hut circles at Kirkstead (No. 132), Dryhope (No.
133), and Cavers Hill (No. 134), if it was certain that
the structures in question were prehistoric, but their
status is as present undetermined. The standing
stones, all of which are of modest size, may in fact be
nothing more than mediaeval boundary- marks, as
on Woll Rig ( No. 170), or landmarks erected for the
guidance of drovers or local herds, while the frag-
mentary and disturbed condition of the setting on
Bught Rig precludes any decision as to its origin or
purpose in the absence of excavation. And whereas
unenclosed round huts superficially similar to those
at Dryhope and Kirkstead are known to have been
inhabited in the Early Bronze Age, (3) this primitive
type of dwelling had a long life and appears to have
remained in use in SE. Scotland at least until the
Middle Ages. (4)
The only relic recovered from any of the cist burials
is a Food Vessel from the old churchyard at Gala
shiels No. 165), and likewise little information is
available regarding the contents of the cairns. The
fragments of pottery found on the floor of the cairn
on Easterhill Head ( NO. 63), which covered a cist,
cannot now be traced, although several cup-marked

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