court cairn

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A generic name popularized by Ruaidhri de Valera in the early 1960s referring to a series of long barrows found especially in northern and central Ireland. The class is characterized by sites with a trapezoidal mound delimited by a stone kerb. Most contain a single oval court at one end with access from the back of the court into chambers which contained human burials. A few examples have a court and chambers at both ends of the mound (double court tombs) while a few contain subsidiary chambers in the back or the sides of the mound. Mainly 4th and early 3rd millennium bc in date. Burials were generally by inhumation, although some cremated remains have been found at excavated sites. Also known as horned cairns.

Subjects: Archaeology.

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