Researcher Unearths Iron Age Skeleton

Nov 07, 2005

Archaeologists have discovered a Shetland burial ground dating back over 2,000 years. Experts who started work on the site on Unst two months ago have managed to rescue a number of artefacts and a human skeleton.

The burial site at Sand Wick is believed to date back to the Iron Age and has been badly eroded by waves. Team members, including Tom Dawson from the University of St Andrews Institute of Environmental History, believe they have obtained valuable information from the site before it is lost to the sea.

The skeleton was found lying on its back with a polished stone disc tucked inside its mouth. Near the arm was a tiny ornament made of rings of copper alloy and bone which the team believes was some kind of pendant. Team members also found hundreds of sherds of pottery, limpet shells and animal bones left over from ancient meals.

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Scotland, the dig was carried out by specialists from Glasgow University, Scottish Coastal Archaeology and the Problems of Erosion Trust (SCAPE), and local volunteers who form part of Shorewatch.

Shorewatch, managed by the University of St Andrews and SCAPE, is a collaborative project which monitors the state of archaeological remains along the Scottish coast. Their work aids decision-making on where more detailed work, such as surveys or excavations, should be carried out.

Coordinator Tom Dawson said, "By excavating this eroding site, we are both obtaining valuable information before the site disappears and giving people a chance to get actively involved."

Last October, the Shorewatch project received the top prize at the prestigious British Archaeological Awards – the ‘Oscars’ of British Archaeology.

Source: University of St Andrews

Explore further: Cougars' diverse diet helped them survive the Pleistocene mass extinction

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Bronze Age building saved from the sea

Aug 25, 2008

A team of archaeologists have saved a Bronze Age building on Shetland from destruction by the sea... by moving it brick by brick to a safe new location.

Recommended for you

Math modeling handbook now available

1 hour ago

Math comes in handy for answering questions about a variety of topics, from calculating the cost-effectiveness of fuel sources and determining the best regions to build high-speed rail to predicting the spread ...

Archaeologists, tribe clash over Native remains

1 hour ago

Archaeologists and Native Americans are clashing over Indian remains and artifacts that were excavated during a construction project in the San Francisco Bay Area, but then reburied at an undisclosed location.

Male-biased tweeting

3 hours ago

Today women take an active part in public life. Without a doubt, they also converse with other women. In fact, they even talk to each other about other things besides men. As banal as it sounds, this is far ...

Developing nations ride a motorcycle boom

4 hours ago

Asia's rapidly developing economies should prepare for a full-throttle increase in motorcycle numbers as average incomes increase, a new study from The Australian National University has found.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Math modeling handbook now available

Math comes in handy for answering questions about a variety of topics, from calculating the cost-effectiveness of fuel sources and determining the best regions to build high-speed rail to predicting the spread ...

Male-biased tweeting

Today women take an active part in public life. Without a doubt, they also converse with other women. In fact, they even talk to each other about other things besides men. As banal as it sounds, this is far ...

Archaeologists, tribe clash over Native remains

Archaeologists and Native Americans are clashing over Indian remains and artifacts that were excavated during a construction project in the San Francisco Bay Area, but then reburied at an undisclosed location.

Amazon Prime wins streaming deal with HBO

Amazon scored a deal Wednesday to distribute old shows from premium cable TV channel HBO to its monthly Prime subscribers, landing a blow on rival Netflix in the streaming video battle.