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21 20 The chambered building exactly fitted the small space between the central stone and the easternmost stones of the circle, as shown in the plan from Innes paper opposite, top. It was clearly a small burial cairn, surrounded by a circular kerb and containing two roofless compartments and a short passage. In describing the 1857 excavation, Sir James Matheson stated It is remarkable that the sides of the small chamber are quite undisturbed. Careful examination in 1981 showed that, in fact, some reconstruction must have taken place, as Victorian glass was found between the stones forming the sides of the chamber. With his note, Sir James enclosed ... some minute fragments of what we suppose to be bones found in the chamber, and a specimen of a black unctuous substance. A Professor Anderson examined these materials. He concluded that the bones were human, subjected to the action of fire, but gave no firm opinion about the unctuous substance. Local tradition tells of village children drawing on the stones with charcoal found at the time. Todays archaeologists inevitably regret that the cairn contents are not available for examination by modern scientific methods. the buriAl chAMber exciting discovery beneath the peat
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