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Necklace

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from near Pitkennedy, Aberlemno, Angus

Necklace
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This necklace made of cannel coal was found with a pot in a cist burial near Pitkennedy, near Aberlemno in Angus. It was a prestigious and valuable object, probably belonging to a woman, although no bones survived in the cist. The burial dates from between 2300 and 1800 BC.

The necklace consisted of a triangular fastener, two triangular end plates, four trapeze-shaped spacer places and (when found) around 104 barrel-shaped beads. The end and spacer plates had been decorated with a dot design. All plates and beads had been highly polished.

Cannel coal and other black substances in Scotland were used as substitutes for the highly-prized jet from Whitby in Yorkshire. Objects made of jet and these other materials were high status possessions. This necklace had probably not been very old when it was buried.

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