1,500-Year-Old Viking-era Cemetery Found Above a Beach on the Orkney Islands
Tue, April 20, 2021

1,500-Year-Old Viking-era Cemetery Found Above a Beach on the Orkney Islands

 

The Orkney Islands in Scotland is the home to many of the best-preserved archaeological sites in Europe. This includes the prehistoric village of Skara Brae and the standing stones of the Ring of Brodgar, a ceremonial site that includes 13 burial mounds and dates to 3,000 BC. Aside from these, the islands also have the ancient Newark Bay cemetery which was excavated in the 1960s and 1970s by British archaeologist Don Brothwell. 

 

Credits: Live Science

 

Recently, ancient human bones were revealed in an ancient cemetery dating to almost 1,500 years ago. Many of the burials from the ninth through the 15th centuries were Norsemen or Vikings who took over the Orkney Islands from the Picts. They used the place to launch their voyages and Viking raids. However, researchers aren’t sure about the relationship between the Picts and the Norse. 

"The Orkney Islands were Pictish, and then they became Norse. "We're not really clear how that transition happened, whether it was an invasion or people lived together. This is one of the few opportunities we've got to investigate that,” Peter Higgins of the Orkney Research Center for Archaeology (ORCA) said. 

 

Credits: Live Science

 

According to Live Science, a science news website that features groundbreaking developments in science, space, technology, health, the environment, our culture and history, Higgins explained that the ancient human bones were exposed due to the waves raised by storms that damaged the low cliff where the ancient cemetery lies. "Every time we have a storm with a bit of a south-easterly [wind], it really gets in there and actively erodes what is just soft sandstone," he said. 

 

Credits: Live Science

 

The residents have piled sandbags and clay to protect the remains and limit the damage to the ancient cemetery. "The local residents and the landowner have been quite concerned about what's left of the cemetery being eroded by the sea," Higgins said. 

 

SIMIALR POST

2020.03.15

Grazielle Sarical

Archaeologists Identified the Human Remains of One of England's First Female Saints

2020.03.11

Grazielle Sarical

72 Skeletons and Mummies Spotted in Ancient Guanche Cave Tomb

2020.02.24

Grazielle Sarical

Police Found Gallon-Sized Jars of Human Remains in Florida