Caird's Cave Pin
01 January 2009
- News Type:
- Find of the Month
This bone or antler pin was found during excavations of Caird's Cave near Rosemarkie by Dr MacLean, a local medical doctor, in the early 20th century. The pin is an exquisite object, carefully made with amber settings in the head. From its style, it has been dated to the Pictish period, probably the 8th or early 9th century.
The pin was found with two other undecorated pins, a small number of bone tools, and a variety of raw pieces and cut and worked fragments, suggesting that bone working occurred in the cave. In addition, there were some plain stone balls, the function of which is unknown.
Dr Maclean was a local antiquarian and collector. When he died his widow donated his collection to the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, where the pin and the rest of the collection are held. The Groam House Museum in Rosemarkie will feature an exhibition on Dr Maclean and his collection in spring of 2010. ARCH is a partner in this project, and will be facilitating eight Display the Past sessions offering participants the opportunity to learn how to research objects, and then design and create a display. If you would like to take part, please contact us!
For information about Dr Maclean, see the iterations website created by Chris and Dave Rendell.
For a discussion of the pin, see Sally Foster's article 'Pins. combs and the Chronology of Laer Atlantic Iron Age Settlement,' in Ian Armit (ed.) Beyond the Brochs: Changing Perspectives on the Later Iron Age in Atlantic Scotland, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1990, 143-174.
- 25/07/2022 Steatite Vessels
- 10/04/2021 Cruisie lamp in Dunrobin Castle Museum
- 02/03/2021 Medieval Sword Pommel from Sleat, Skye
- 01/02/2021 Hilton of Cadboll Pictish Cross Slab
- 04/01/2021 Gunflint from Stoneyfield, Inverness
- 02/12/2020 Bobbin from Contin Bobbin Mill
- 02/11/2020 Russian Lead Cloth Seal from Cromarty
- 01/10/2020 The Poolewe Hoard
- 04/09/2020 Storr Rock Viking Silver Hoard
- 07/08/2020 Mesolithic bloodstone artefacts from Camas Daraich, Skye