Underworld encounters: later prehistoric funerary rites at the Covesea Caves, Moray


Professor Ian Armit University of Leicester and Dr Lindsey Büster, University of Edinburgh


School 1, St Salvator’s Quadrangle

St Andrews University Archaeology Society

The Sculptor’s Cave, Covesea, on the south shore of the Moray Firth, takes its name from the enigmatic Pictish symbols carved around its entrance walls. These symbols, however, mark the end of more than a millennium of funerary and religious activity stretching from the Late Bronze Age to the Roman Iron Age. Recent fieldwork suggests that the Sculptor’s Cave was by no means unique; in fact it was just one of a series of caves that together formed a coastal mortuary landscape with its origins in the Early Bronzer Age or even earlier. This talk presents the results of recent work and examines the broader significance of the Covesea Caves.