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19 July 2010
Further excavations at Orcadian burial mound

Excavations were re-started last year at a site at Cantick, South Walls, in Orkney  (Scotland). The excavations were led by the Orknet Research Centre for archaeology (ORCA), and supported by Aberdeen and Durham Universities, with local volunteers.
     There is a large burial mound which has been refurbished, maintained and extended over the millenia, original started in the Orcadian Neolithic period but with further work carried out in the Bronze Age, where several box cists were added. It was formed on the top of a scalped glacial till, with a layer of grey clay added and had a revetment wall surrounding a central chamber. A striking feature though is a second outer revetment wall which is square and was constructed above the original wall. Fragments of Bronze Age funereal pottery have been found and there is evidence of both cremation and inhumation on the site.
     The second round of excavations had hoped to answer some of the secrets of the mound and plot its history but, unfortunately, serious damaged had been caused by otters (which had used the mound as a set) and antiquarian treasure hunters, so that radiocarbon dating of the burials may need to be relied on.

Source: Orkneyjar (9 July 2010)

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