Natural erosion of the edge of a quarry face at Sannox Sand Quarry, Isle of Arran, has exposed a cist containing a pottery vessel and evidence of a possible cremation. The vessel, shown below, was retrieved by the finder, Jamie McKinnon, to prevent it falling into the quarry floor. It is a tripartite Vase Food Vessel, which probably dates to 2000-1800 BC. These vessels are usually found as grave goods in cists with crouched inhumations. Very occasionally, they are associated with cremated bone, and even more rarely they contain cremated bone. What appears to be a plano-convex flint knife was also found within the cist, while the possible end-slab of a second cist has also been identified.
Although the cist was found within an area of sand extraction, the quarry is not currently in operation while consent is sought for an extension to the workings. Given the precarious nature of the cist, it is hoped that it will be possible to conduct a rescue excavation under the terms of the human remains call-off contract, administered by Historic Scotland. Further details will be posted on the news page as they become available.