REMAINS FROM THE TAIN SAND-DUNES


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A paper read by Mr Hugh Miller on a series of remains from certain ploughed lands long buried under the sand dunes of the Fendom, near Tain, Ross-shire.

This region of sandy wastes is found to be underlaid by a lost surface of cultivated land, which the sand is said to have overwhelmed in a single night. In four localities the author found the old surface laid bare, and these he described in detail. In one there was found the clay floor of a hut, in which were found embedded a number of pellets and slugs of lead, and nearby were two small heaps of shells, one composed of periwinkles and mussels, and the other of cockles.

In another of these patches were found the rigs and furrows, still plainly visible. These have blown sand both under and over them. Among the objects found on this ancient surface are coins ranging from John Baliol to Charles II., pottery, whorls, fish- hooks, beads, brooches, rings, buckles, buttons, pins, and gunflints and strike-lights, with some cuttings of thin brass like the scraps of tin that are found around a tinkers' encampment. These articles thus found form a group similar to that from the Culbin Sands in Morayshire. The final catastrophe may have occurred at the same time as that recorded of Culbin, in 1694. A typical collection of the objects was exhibited, and the author announced that shortly he would place the collection in the National Museum. Mr Miller expressed his indebtedness for many of the finds to Mr David Denoon of Pitnellies.