Key Sites

Symbol stones

Monastic sites

Back to Priests and Picts

A linear inhumation cemetery in a natural, elongated, sand mound at Ackergill (ND 348549) was excavated in the 1920's. Sixteen burials in ten separate graves were recovered. All except one of the burials were extended inhumations; only one body was accompanied by grave goods. Although of various forms most of the burials were long cists covered by low, rectangular, kerbed deposits of stone. A layer of white quartzite pebbles covered some graves.

An ogham-inscribed Pictish symbol stone was found, broken, on the nearby links. It is argued that it may once have stood at the northwest end of the burial mound. The stone, incised on one face, depicts the lower part of a fish and a rectangular symbol, divided and decorated with spirals, possibly a comb-case. The Ogham inscription has been read as 'NEHTETRI' and translated as 'Neht, son of Etrios'. Another symbol stone fragment was found on the surface in the course of excavating one of the graves. The stone bears a rectangle symbol and below this there is a short section of curved line indicating the presence of a second symbol.

The site may have been an important burial ground for many centuries throughout the first and second millennia.

Ackergill Cemetery


Wag of Forse

Religion and Ritual

All content © Caithness Archaeological Trust 2004

unless otherwise stated