Kilmartin Museum is located in the heart of prehistoric Kilmartin Glen in Argyll. We believe this is the only museum in Scotland that can both excavate and displays the artefacts that we find.

We dig and display so that you can discover the past.

Inside Museum

"How many museums can you go to where you can examine a Bronze Age pot and look out of the window and see the burial mound where it came from."


Sir Tony Robinson recognised that Kilmartin Museum was a special and unique place when he visited and made the comment above.

Many of the artefacts found in the Glen and surrounding areas are of international significance, including rare jet necklaces and some of the earliest beaker pots in Britain.

We continue to carry out archaeological surveys and excavations as there is more to be found and uncovered and more to learn about the people who were here before us.


Below are some of the objects that you can see in the museum gallery on your visit here. Please see our redevelopment page for information on our exciting plans for the museum in the future.

Benderloch Urn

Found in Benderloch, near Oban the urn is around 3000 years old and is a remarkable find by a member of the public whilst gardening.

Analysis revealed that the pot had been used initially for cooking food and then finally buried as a cremation urn for a young woman and small child. It is common for pottery vessels to feature in burial rituals and research on the urn gives us some clues to speculate about the use of a pot and about the individuals whose remains it came to house.

Benderloch Urn

Glebe Cairn Food Vessel - Bronze Age

Glebe Cairn Food Vessel

The Bronze Age pottery found in Kilmartin Glen is of extraordinary quality and this 3000 year old vessel is no exception.

The decorative techniques seen on the pot which was found in the Glebe Cairn are replicated exactly on pots in Ireland. It features a beautifully decorated base and the lugs or handles on the side imply that it may have been suspended for display. It was discovered beside the skeleton of a woman in 1834.

Nether Largie South Cairn Bowl

This remarkably well preserved Neolithic bowl from Nether Largie South Cairn is at least 4500 years old.

It is extremely unusual to find such a large and complete example. It was probably placed inside the cairn as a ritual offering.

Image to follow...

Shuna Sword

Shuna Sword

This is one of three swords around 2000 years old, found in very dramatic setting, point down in a bog on the nearby Isle of Shuna.

It is believed to have been made in England however moulds for swords from the same period, have also been found on Traprain Law near Edinburgh.

Upper Largie Footed Food Vessel

A unique and exceptionally important Bronze Age pot was found in a grave at the Upper Largie gravel quarry site, a stones throw from the museum.

Dr Alison Sheridan from the National Museum of Scotland was so excited by this remarkable find that she gave up a Christmas Day to reconstruct it following excavation. It is an Irish style vessel, but with 4 clay feet which had only ever been found on pottery from Yorkshire. This pot is unique because it brings together styles from both east and west.

Upper Largie Footed Food Vessel


Kilmartin Museum, Kilmartin, Argyll, Scotland, PA31 8RQ : : 01546 510278

Kilmartin House Trust SC 022744 : : Kilmartin House Trading Co. Ltd. SC 166302

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© 2014 Kilmartin Museum · Website by Helena Greenlees