Tomb of the Otters

The discovery of the undisturbed tomb at Banks on 16 September 2010 by Hamish Mowatt, complete with visible human skulls, is providing the first opportunity to study the undisturbed burials of a Neolithic community in decades.


The Neolithic builders quarried out rock to allow construction to begin. They created a central chamber measuring approximately 4 metres long by 75 centimetres across and aligned east to west. Access to the interior of the tomb was by a north facing entrance passage. Cells were capped by large waterworn stones - one of which had always intrigued Hamish.


He dug down the side of this large capstone, managed to get a camera inside the East Cell and  connected this to a monitor and saw the skull in our main picture looking back at him. He then contacted Julie Gibson, County Archaeologist. A project design was produced by ORCA and agreed with Julie and Historic Scotland. The evaluation excavation 1 took place 26 October to 10 November 2010.