Storms Reveal Iron Age Skeleton
2013-01-17 0:00


A series of storms that hit Scotland’s Shetland Islands over the holidays revealed what archaeologists believe could be 2,000-year-old human remains.

Police were initially called to the scene when storms eroded a cliff at Channerwick and exposed the skeleton, but officials soon determined that they wouldn’t have to open a homicide investigation.

Local archaeologist Chris Dyer said the ancient skeleton looked as if it were contemporary with the remains of Iron Age structures revealed nearby. Researchers then identified evidence of one or possibly two more burials at the site, but another storm caused a further chunk of the cliff to crumble, covering up the discovery.

Skeletal remains uncovered by storms

"The original burial now lies under several tons of fallen bank, and the Iron Age structures have also disappeared from view," Dyer said in a statement from the Shetland Amenity Trust.

Nature is known to reveal human history. For instance, remains of hominids — a juvenile male and adult female who lived nearly 2 million years ago — were discovered in the far reaches of a limestone cave system that had eroded over time. "We are looking at very eroded and denuded portions of this cave system, where nature has exposed what had once been the deep reaches," said researcher Daniel Farber, an earth scientist at the University of California at Santa Cruz, in 2011 at the time the discovery was announced.


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