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Unstan (also known as Knowe of Unstan or Onston) is a Neolithic stalled cairn, close to the Loch of Stenness on Mainland, Orkney.
Excavated in 1884 by Robert Clouston, it contained crouched burials and a mass of mixed bone, plus animal remains, and sherds from over 30 round-based bowls. This distinctive style of pottery came to be known as Unstan Ware.
The mound is entered via the original (re-roofed) entrance passage, leading to a central chamber divided into compartments or ‘stalls’ by four pairs of upright stones. This type of drystone structure is classified as an ‘Orkney-Cromarty’ cairn, but unusually for this group, Unstan has a side cell within the wall opposite its entrance.
Unstan is in the care of Historic Environment Scotland (HES). It’s open to the public and free to visit. For information on visiting, see our website. Discover more history of Unstan in the HES Archives.