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Caithness Field Club Bulletin
April 1987

Vol.  4 No.  5                        April 1987


The following summer Programme of outings has been arranged for members. 

Sunday April 19        Outing by car to the Watten area.  Cars leave Wick and Thurso at 10 am.  Leader George Watson. 

Weekend 15-17 May   Weekend at the Sutherland Arms Hotel, Lairg.  Bookings should be made through Allan Abernethy, Tel.  Wick 2702. 

Sunday June l4         Outing to Helmsdale gold burns.  Leave Wick and Thurso at 9.30 a.m.  and meet at the Helmsdale tourist office at 10.15.  Leader, David Oliver. 

Sunday July 19          Coastal walk south of Wick.  Leader Nick Roberts.  Leave Thurso 9.30 and Wick 10 a.m. 

Sunday August 16      Outing to Loch Brora.  Leader ken Butler. 

Sunday September 13 Walk along Thurso River from Westerdale to Dirlot.  Leader Geoff Leet.

Members are advised to look for the notices advertising the above outings.  These will be displayed in the usual shop windows. 

This will be held following an illustrated lecture "Round About The Three Firths: Loch Fleet to Beauly" by Dr. J. S. Smith to be given in Halkirk School on TUESDAY 28th APRIL at 7.30 p.m.  This lecture is in association with the University of Aberdeen. 

Inverness Field Club have organised a symposium and study tour in association with the Council for British Archaeology Scotland.  The theme will be Our Vanishing Heritage and study the effects of present and future land use on the face of Scotland.  The dates are Friday 24 - Saturday 25th April.  Bookings may be made through Mrs J.  Anderson, Mo Dhachaidh, Glen Urquhart, Inverness.  Tel.  045 64 230

Included in this edition of the Bulletin is a copy of the Field Club constitution.  Although this document was produced in the early days of the Field Club and some members may still have a copy, it has never before been published in the Bulletin.  Members may therefore be interested to read it.

The 41st Annual Report of the Council for British Archaeology Scotland, recently published, includes reports on a number of local societies and institutions, including Caithness Field Club which is a subscribing member.  It is interesting to note how many of the local societies are actively involved in recording and survey work which is worthwhile work that local societies can undertake.  Abertay Historical Society are engaged in recording grave-stones as also are Hawick Archaeological Society.  Arbroath Antiquary and History Club have completed a survey of cup-and-ring marked stones which is now being prepared for publication.  They are also continuing a survey of deserted settlements.  A similar project was carried out by the Caithness Field Club at Broubster but not mentioned.

An important annual publication of the CBA Scotland is Discovery and Excavation in Scotland.  It gives a useful annual survey of Scottish Archaeological discoveries excavation and field work together with a detailed Scottish archaeological bibliography.  Associate membership is open to individuals at a very modest sum.  Details are available from the Secretary, CBA Scotland, c/o Royal Museum of Scotland, York Buildings, 1 Queen Street, Edinburgh EH2 IJD. 

A CIST BURIAL AT RANGAG (Map ref. 177446)
On 18 February 1987 during operations involving a JCB excavator adjacent to the eastern side of the A895 at the site of an old quarry a cist burial was unearthed.  The cist was orientated east-west with the skull of the skeleton at the east.  The cist was unusual in that it had been excavated from the frost-shattered bedded Old Red Sandstone and the excavation had then been lined with pieces of flagstone with a flagstone cap.  A few inches of clay and peat lay above the cist and there was no evidence of any cairn having been raised above it. 

Near to the skull the workmen found a very fine example of a bell-shaped earthenware beaker of the type usually associated with the early Bronze Age.  The beaker was decorated with rings and incised lines and must rank among the finest of its kind. 

(J. Saxon)