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Silent Victims Of The Sea: Rising Tides Threaten Archaeological Sites

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  • Kim Noyes
    *Silent victims of the sea: rising tides threaten archaeological sites* The Independent [UK], 7 October 2007 When the Neolithic farmers and hunters of Skara
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 15, 2007
      Silent victims of the sea: rising tides threaten archaeological sites

      The Independent [UK], 7 October 2007
      When the Neolithic farmers and hunters of Skara Brae first built their
      stone houses on Orkney, they were careful to place their settlement more
      than a mile from the coast to avoid their homes being pounded by the
      harsh winter storms that sweep across the Bay of Skaill. Some 5,000
      years later, the custodians of Europe's most complete prehistoric
      village no longer have the luxury of land to shelter them from the sea.
      Slowly but surely, erosion has brought the sea ever closer to the grey
      rock-built dwellings and now spray from the wind-whipped Atlantic
      regularly soaks the World Heritage Site. In some places the loss of
      ancient material is already happening. On Orkney, which has more than
      500 archaeological landmarks, parts of Bronze Age forts have been washed
      into the sea, skeletons have been swept from Iron Age burial chambers,
      and a section of a Viking grave ship uncovered by a winter storm in the
      early 1990s has vanished. Experts point out that the coast, more often
      than not the first part of a landmass to be settled, is rich in evidence
      of human activity over millennia which remains undiscovered or
      unexamined. Alongside submerged prehistoric forests, there are myriad
      wooden structures that have been barely documented such as causeways,
      fish weirs, burial buildings, clay huts used to refine salt, oyster pits
      and shipwrecks.

      http://environment.independent.co.uk/article3015288.ece


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