Saturday, 26 January 2008

Bronze Age 'burnt mound' to be rescued

From the Shetland News

ARCHAEOLOGISTS plan to save a fine example of a Bronze Age burnt mound from disappearing into the sea in a unique £70,000 removal operation on Shetland this coming summer.

Historic Scotland has given permission for the site at Cruister, on Bressay, to be shifted to the islands’ heritage centre.
The unprecedented project will see the prehistoric version of a water heater, a third of which has already been eroded by the sea, dismantled and rebuilt in fully functional order.

Barbara Anderson, of Bressay Heritage Centre, said it was highly unusual to be allowed to tamper with an ancient monument in this way. “In this case we are being allowed to remove it. Normally you would not be able to touch things like this,” she said.

Shetland has hundreds of burnt mounds like the one at Cruister, which attract great interest because their associated structures are the most complex so far discovered in the UK and Ireland.

The Bressay site has a fireplace and a main stone water tank connected by a sloping chute and surrounded by a series of stone-built cells. Around these lie a large mound of fire-cracked stones, believed to have been built up when the site was still in use.

The stones were heated in the fire and then plunged into the tank to heat the water.

Full story here

No comments: