Archaeologists Discover A Very Special 4,000-Year-Old Bronze Age Tomb Near Loch Ness

The new burial site in Drumnadrochit marks the second Bronze Age grave that has been found in the area.

A 4,000-year-old Bronze Age burial site has been discovered near Loch Ness.
Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

The new burial site in Drumnadrochit marks the second Bronze Age grave that has been found in the area.

In Drumnadrochit near Loch Ness, a 4,000-year-old Bronze Age tomb has been discovered, making this the second find of this kind in the area in the past two years. Archaeologists originally spotted the first grave around Loch Ness in 2015 and were surprised to find that there were still human remains left at the site.

This new and second Bronze Age tomb in Drumnadrochit has reportedly suffered degradation due to soil getting inside the tomb, but a Beaker pot was found hidden in the grave, leading archaeologists to suggest that the pot was probably offered up as a gift to the newly deceased individual so that they could enjoy the use of the decorated object in the afterlife.

The original Bronze Age grave was uncovered while the Drumnadrochit Medical Center was in the process of being built, according to the BBC, and excavations were led by the AOC Archaeology Group. As Mary Peteranna of the AOC explains, the discovery of the second Loch Ness burial site is a blessing as it is providing valuable information about life 4,000 years ago in the area of Glen Urquhart.

“The discovery of a second Bronze Age cist on the site provides increasing evidence for the special selection of this site in the prehistoric landscape as a location for ceremonial funerary activity. This cist, along with the medical center cist and a second burial pit, is generating much more information about the prehistory of Glen Urquhart.”

The recent discovery of the Bronze Age burial site near Loch Ness marks the second grave that has been found in the area in the past two years.
The recent discovery of the Bronze Age burial site near Loch Ness marks the second grave that has been found in the area in the past two years. Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

Mary Peteranna further states that in this area near Loch Ness there would have been an extremely large cairn during prehistorical times, but after thousands of years of occupation and ploughing there is little sign that this area was once inhabited during the Bronze Age, another reason finding a second grave at this same site is so exciting.

“Historically, there was a large cairn shown on maps of the area but you can imagine that centuries of ploughing in these fields have removed any upstanding reminders of prehistoric occupation. During the work, we actually found a displaced capstone from another grave that either has not survived or has not yet been discovered. So it’s quite likely that these graves were covered by stone cairns or mounds, long-since ploughed out.”

Beaker pots appear to have been very popular items to be buried with as these have been found at a large number of Bronze Age burial sites in many different locations, but other artifacts like knives made of copper, arrowheads and wrist guards were also deposited inside graves at the time.

The Beaker pot, which was discovered at this particular grave, has a “simple incised decoration” upon it and looks to be very much like other pots found in Scotland which were constructed between 2200 to 1900 BC. Archaeologists will now be working to analyze this pot to see if it would have held an offering inside of it at the time it went into the grave.

Now that two Bronze Age burial sites have been discovered in Drumnadrochit near Loch Ness, the area is sure to be studied in even greater detail in order to see what other archaeological treasures this region of Scotland may hold.