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29 December 2009
Seventh grave discovered at Skye Bronze Age dig site

A seventh grave has been discovered at a prehistoric burial ground being excavated on Skye (Inner Hebrides, Scotland). The discovery was made by a team of archeologists working close to Armadale pier on the Sleat peninsula.
     Six slab-lined graves and numerous cremation pits were previously unearthed on the house-building plot in October. Excavations began on a second area of the site this month after the removal of overhead power lines. The latest discovery is believed to be older than pevious graves and could date from the early Bronze Age, more than 4,000 years ago.
     The grave contained well-preserved flint arrow heads and knives, which were most likely buried with a person of high status in the community. Archaeologist Mary Peteranna said: "One of the exciting things about this burial was that it turned up below a layer of gravel which appeared to have been naturally shifted at some point in prehistory. It suggested to us that this grave could be earlier than other burials on the site. Even more amazing, the cist contained a single burial with five flint artefacts in perfect condition. Three flint arrowheads and two flint knives were placed with the body at the time of burial. Flint tools of such high quality are a rare occurrence on Skye and these suggest that this was a person of very high status."
     Much of the burial site is on a raised shingle beach overlooking the Sound of Sleat, meaning it would have been observed by sea travellers. The Bronze Age and possibly Neolithic discoveries made in October are being stored at museums in Armadale and Inverness. The discoveries have not disrupted building work on the site, where UBC Group is erecting homes on behalf of Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association.

Source: The Press And Journal (25 December 2009)

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