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19 April 2012
Ancient cairns found in Scotland on wind farm area

In the far north of Scotland, in Caithness, wind is in abundance. So it is not surprising that a survey of Neolithic horned cairns has been sponsored, to the tune of £100,000, by Baillie Wind Farm who are hoping to erect twenty-on 110-metre high wind generator turbines in the area.
     The surveys were carried out by AOC Archaeology from Edinburgh, headed up by Consultant Dr Graeme Cavers, who is quoted as saying "The Shebster area (near Thurso) is an unusually good example of a well preserved cluster of sites. They are essentially burial and ritual monuments, much like the chapels and shrines of more recent times, and each of them is likely to have been used exclusively by individual local groups or communities".
     The sites are thought to date back to 3,000 BCE and they were mapped using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR). The cairns are up to 60 metres long and have two projecting walls near the entrance, leading to the description of being 'horned'. In addition to the cairns, the AOC Archaeology team have also identified more than 300 new Bronze and Iron Age sites.

Edited from BBC News (22 March 2012)

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