Scottish archaeological sites threatened

May 30, 2007

Experts say major archaeological sites on the Scottish coast are in danger of being washed away as sea levels rise.

The sites most at risk include Iron Age and Viking settlements in the Shetland and Orkney islands and the Hebrides, The Scotsman reported.

Scottish Coastal Archaeology and the Problem of Erosion, an organization based at based at St. Andrews University, is about one-third of the way through a survey to determine the most endangered sites.

Among the sites seriously threatened by the sea are two on North Uist in the Hebrides. Another at Sandwick Bay in Shetland was not immediately on the coast when it was inhabited between 4,000 and 5,000 years ago.

Tom Dawson, SCAPE's project officer, said a predicted increase in coastal storms could threaten even more of Scotland's heritage.

"It could take just one period of adverse weather to lose pieces of Scotland's history forever," he said. "It's been predicted that within 100 years, because of climate change, there will be much more stormy weather in Scotland and as a result, the coast will get battered even more than now."

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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