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12 February 2015
Ancient child remains unearthed in Orkney

Last 3 February, Carrie Brown of See Orkney tours was walking along the coast in the north end of the Sanday island (Orkney, Scotland) when she spotted part of a rib-cage exposed in the sandy part of the banks. She and her partner Ali Thorne looked a little more closely, and suspected that they might have found human bones. Having first protected and marked the area, they then notified resident Sanday archaeologists who took a closer look in the afternoon.
     Further careful investigation the same afternoon revealed the back of the skull. Very quickly Historic Scotland was alerted to the human remains, and they arranged for two experts to come to Sanday. During the weekend they exposed more of the site by working downwards from the top of the section, revealing what may be the burial site of a child of perhaps 10-12 years of age.
     The grave - which it is believed could be up to 4,000 years old - was surely exposed by winter storms and high tides. The skeleton will be analysed by an osteoarchaeology team in more suitable climatic conditions.

Edited from Sanday Ranger, BBC News (9 February 2015)

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