In What Year Did Feminists First Propose the Era

In What Year Did Feminists First Propose the Era

Scottish storms unearth 1,500-yr-old Viking-era cemetery



Archaeologists and volunteers are working to preserve human bones exposed by recent storms in an ancient cemetery above a beach on the Orkney Islands.
(Image credit: ORCA Archeology)

Powerful storms on the Orkney Islands in the far north of Scotland recently exposed aboriginal human bones in a Pictish and Viking cemetery dating to near 1,500 years agone. Volunteers are piling sandbags and dirt to protect the remains and limit the damage to the ancient Newark Bay cemetery on Orkney’s largest island.

The cemetery traces its origins to the middle of the 6th century, when the Orkney Islands were inhabited past native Pictish people, akin to the Picts who inhabited virtually of what is now Scotland.

It was used for almost a thou years, and many of the burials from the 9th through the 15th centuries were Norsemen or
Vikings
who had taken over the Orkney Islands from the Picts. Merely waves raised past storms are eating away at the low cliff where the ancient cemetery lies, said Peter Higgins of the Orkney Research Centre for Archæology (ORCA), part of the Archaeology Found of the Academy of the Highlands and Islands.

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“Every time we have a storm with a scrap of a south-easterly [wind], it really gets in at that place and actively erodes what is just soft sandstone,” Higgins told Live Scientific discipline.

Well-nigh 250 skeletons were removed from the cemetery about 50 years ago, only it’s not known exactly how far the graveyard extends dorsum from the beach, he said. Hundreds of Pictish and Norse bodies are thought to exist buried at that place nevertheless, Higgins added.

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The ancient cemetery dates back almost 1500 years and was used for almost a thousand years. It is thought to contain hundreds of bodies, both Pictish and Norse.

The ancient cemetery dates dorsum almost 1,500 years and was used for most a thousand years. Information technology is thought to contain hundreds of bodies, both Pictish and Norse.

(Paradigm credit: ORCA Archaeology)


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The Orkney Islands have been inhabited for thousands of years and have many of the best-preserved archaeological sites in Europe. That includes the prehistoric village of
Skara Brae
and the continuing stones of the Ring of Brodgar, a ceremonial site that includes thirteen burial mounds and dates to iii,000 B.C., according to the government bureau
Historic Surroundings Scotland
(HES).

The aboriginal cemetery at Newark Bay was excavated in the 1960s and 1970s by the famed British archeologist Don Brothwell, who preserved the skeletons for future study, Higgins said. Brothwell’s methods were current at the time, simply they were very dissimilar from modern archaeological techniques, and “the archive isn’t quite the way nosotros’d take information technology nowadays,” Higgins added. Volunteers now hope to preserve the bones until the remains can be examined by scientists over the next three years, in HES-funded studies.

Just a more than immediate concern is the vulnerability of the remaining graves to flooding and damage from Orkney storms, which batter the sandstone cliff with enormous waves and tempest surges, representatives of the Archaeology Institute
said in a statement.

“The local residents and the landowner have been quite concerned near what’s left of the cemetery beingness eroded by the sea,” Higgins said.

Exposed bones are typically either covered with clay to protect them or removed from the sandstone cliff after their positions are carefully recorded, so it is rare for bones to end up on the beach, he said

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It’s not known yet if the exposed bones are those of Picts or Vikings; no burial objects or traces of funeral clothing remain, and bodies in the cemetery were buried iv or five layers deep.

Bones from the ancient graves exposed by the storms in the sandstone cliff above the beach are protected in place with layers of clay, or removed for further study.

Bones from the ancient graves exposed by the storms in the sandstone cliff in a higher place the beach are protected in identify with layers of dirt, or removed for farther study.

(Image credit: ORCA Archaeology)


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Cultural transition

Historians say the first Norse immigrants to the Orkney Islands settled in that location in the late eighth century, fleeing an emerging new monarchy in Norway. They used the Orkney Islands to launch their own voyages and Viking raids, and eventually, all Orkney was dominated past the Norse,
The Scotsman reported. The islands became a Norwegian earldom late in the ninth century, and they remain the region of the British Isles that is most influenced by Norse culture.

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The relationship between the Picts and the Norse on the Orkney Islands is hotly debated among scholars: Did the Norse take over by force, or were they settlers who traded and intermarried with the Picts? The aboriginal cemetery at Newark Bay may help to answer that question, Higgins said.

The scientific study of bones from the ancient cemetery at Newark Bay could reveal clues to the cultural transition from Pictish to Norse domination of the Orkney Islands.

The scientific study of bones from the aboriginal cemetery at Newark Bay could reveal clues to the cultural transition from Pictish to Norse domination of the Orkney Islands.

(Image credit: ORCA Archaeology)

“The Orkney Islands were Pictish, and then they became Norse,” he said. “Nosotros’re not actually articulate how that transition happened, whether information technology was an invasion or people lived together. This is one of the few opportunities nosotros’ve got to investigate that.”

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Excavations at the site had unearthed a carved Pictish stone and the buried remains of a medieval Christian chapel. Even so, some of the graves could be pre-Christian, Higgins said.

Role of the scientific work on the remains would involve testing genetic cloth from the ancient bones, which might show that some people living on Orkney today are descended from people who lived on the islands over 1,000 years ago.

“We’re fairly confident that we’re going to find that some local residents are related to people in the cemetery,” Higgins said.

  • Photos: A human, a horse and a dog found in Viking boat burial
  • Photos: tenth-century Viking tomb unearthed in Denmark
  • Paradigm gallery: Viking voyage discovered

Originally published on


Alive Science

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Tom Metcalfe is a freelance journalist and regular Live Science contributor who is based in London in the United kingdom. Tom writes mainly about science, infinite, archaeology, the Earth and the oceans. He has also written for the BBC, NBC News, National Geographic, Scientific American, Air & Infinite, and many others.

In What Year Did Feminists First Propose the Era

Source: https://www.livescience.com/scottish-storms-unearth-viking-cemetery.html