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Oban, Macarthur Cave

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Record Detail

  • Organisation
    RCAHMS
  • Alternative name(s)
    MCARTHUR CAVE
  • Canmore ID
    23066
  • Site type
    CAVE, INHUMATION(S), IMPLEMENT(S) (BONE), UNIDENTIFIED FLINT(S) (FLINT)
  • Parish
    KILMORE AND KILBRIDE
  • Council
    ARGYLL
  • NGR
    NM 8592 3043
  • Latitude, longitude
    56.417402N, 5.472353W
  • Archeological notes
    NM83SE 9 8092 3043. NM 8592 3043 The MacArthur Cave has come to be regarded as the type-site of the Obanian culture. It was discovered towards the end of 1894 by quarrymen and was excavated by Anderson in 1895. Removal of the talus and fallen rocks which encumbered the entrance revealed a possibly artificial, barrier of rocks, behind which the infilling reached almost to the roof. The great majority of the implements recovered were of bone, 140 of these being found. Of the stone implements recovered, only eight of flint were definable. Finds are now in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS, Accession no : HL 1-389). During the excavation parts of the skeletons of at least four individuals were discovered. The burials, however, cannot be associated with the mesolithic material from the cave, as they were found on top of and within the thick layer of debris that sealed these deposits. Their date is not known. A D Lacaille 1954; RCAHMS 1975; J Anderson 1895; W Turner 1895. No traces of the cave exist. Visited by OS (W D J) 3 December 1964. Biserial antler barbed point (NMS HL 187) dated by radiocarbon to 4750+/- (OxA-1949), 4910-4590 cal BC. NMRS MS/735/1.
  • Architectural notes
    N/A

Related material information

DIGITAL IMAGES

  • 1423010 ()
    Section through Macarthur Cave, Oban
  • 1423009 ()
    Plan of Macarthur Cave, Oban
  • 1171522 (1894)
    View of bone objects found during the excavation of MacArthur Cave, Oban, in 1894.
  • 1171516 (1894)
    View of the excavations of Macarthur Cave, Oban by J Anderson in 1895.

SCANNED IMAGES

  • 371366 (1895)
    View of the excavations of Macarthur Cave, Oban by J Anderson in 1895.

PRINTS AND DRAWINGS

  • 23066 ()
    Section through Macarthur Cave, Oban
  • 23066 ()
    Plan of Macarthur Cave, Oban

PHOTOGRAPHS

  • 23066 (1894)
    Original photograph showing the excavation of MacArthur Cave, Oban.
  • 23066 (1894)
    Antler and stone objects, MacArthur Cave, Oban.
  • 23066 (1894)
    Bone objects, MacArthur Cave, Oban.
  • 23066 (1894)
    Bone objects, MacArthur Cave, Oban.
  • 23066 (1894)
    Excavation of MacArthur Cave, Oban.
  • 23066 (1894)
    Figure with stick outside MacArthur's Cave, Oban.

MANUSCRIPTS

  • 23066 (3/1993)
    Typescript notes on radiocarbon dates for miscellaneous objects in NMS and elsewhere, with related bibliography.

1st edition 6-inch maps

TitleDateOther parishes/counties
 Ordnance Survey six-inch to the mile, Argyllshire, Sheet XCVIII1870

1st edition 25-inch maps

TitleDateOther parishes/counties
 Ordnance Survey 25 inch to the mile Argyll and Bute, Sheet 098.071870