Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Neolithic Tomb Damaged in Landscaping

From BBC News: Digger finds Neolithic tomb complex 31 October 2010. The site (Banks? Banx?) on South Ronaldsay island was severely damaged when a man was using a mechanical digger ('JCB') for landscaping a mound on his property. This was not inventorised as any kind of ancient monument and he had already removed most of it before encountering megalithic constructions inside. He reported it to the local archaeological authorities and an excavation has been mounted to investigate and record what is left of the site. The complex appears to contain a central passageway and multiple chambers excavated from rock.One end of the tomb was accidentally removed as it was discovered and as a result, the burial site has now been flooded and the finds in the chambers are now in danger of disintegrating due to this, so the rescue excavation is in a way a "race against time" to recover and study the site's contents before they are damaged or destroyed. Most of the finds will probably consist of the human bones deposited in the collective grave, from the study of which much can be learnt about the lives of the individuals who lived here 3600 years ago. "There might also be other material, pottery or organics such as woven grass, buried in there - which cannot last under the circumstances," said Orkney Islands Council archaeologist Julie Gibson. The rescue excavation is being undertaken by archaeologists from Orkney College and is sponsored by Orkney Islands Council and Historic Scotland. The site is close to the location of a large Neolithic burial complex nearby called The Tomb of the Eagles where over 300 bodies were found.

The reason I posted this news here is that the team are posting daily video updates from the excavations ("which are expected to take 10 days").
The first video is here
The second is here
What might be the third (though the poor frozen bloke says it's "day four") is here.

[Here on the other hand we have the uninformed and barely articulate burblings on the topic of a complete jerk].

I thought the site videos might be interesting for those who think archaeologists swan around in funny hats in warm climes finding things collectors would otherwise like to add to their trophy cabinet, here we have funny hats and mud - let's see what they find.

UPDATE: Playlist author: 360Production
[I'll be discussing the video on the same portal of the Bronze hoard found by a metal detector user and recovered by archaeologists later] Image, from BBC website.

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