Sculptured stone

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from Kiloran Bay, Colonsay, Inner Hebrides

Postcard of Sculptured stone.
© National Museums Scotland

Sculptured stone

This schist slab is one of two with incised crosses used to make up a stone burial enclosure within a boat grave at Kiloran Bay on Colonsay in the Inner Hebrides. A man was buried within the enclosure with a range of grave goods sometime between 875 and 925.

The cross is roughly incised on one face and is likely to have been a Christian grave-marker. It may have been robbed from a nearby Christian graveyard or monastic site about which we have no other evidence.

The slabs in the burial were set on end to form an enclosure either within or under a boat. It is unusual to find Viking graves in stone enclosures, and the custom may have been adopted from the native Picts.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-000-099-710-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0036: Kiloran Bay Viking Burial (multimedia essay)
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.IB 339
Date: 9th century
Burial dates from between 875 and 925
Material: Stone; cross-marked
What: Stone
Where: Scotland, Argyll, Colonsay, Kiloran Bay
Description: Cross-marked stone from a Viking grave found at Kiloran Bay, Colonsay, Argyll, 9th century
  • Graham-Campbell, James and Batey, Colleen E. Vikings in Scotland. An Archaeological Survey. Edinburgh: University Press, 1998, pp 118-22. 
  • Grieg, Sigurd. Viking Antiquities in Scotland (=Viking Antiquities in Great Britain and Ireland, Part II, ed. by Haakon Shetelig). Oslo: H. Aschehoug & Co., 1940, pp 48-61, esp. pp 58-9. 
  • Ritchie, Anna. Viking Scotland London: B.T. Batsford Ltd/Historic Scotland, 1993, pp 79-84.
    Find in NLS: Title, Author, Title+Author or British Library: Title, Author, Title+Author
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