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Skeletons discovered in ‘incredibly rare’ 5,000-year-old Scottish cemetery

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CNN

The ruins of an “incredibly rare” 5,000-year-old tomb have been discovered on one of the Scottish islands of Orkney, National Museums Scotland said in a statement on Tuesday.

the excavations At Hulme, east of the mainland, Orkney, she uncovered a stone structure accessed by a 7-metre (23 ft) passageway and traces of a cairn – or pile of stones – that would have covered it, representing “the pinnacle of Neolithic architecture”. The statement said in northern Britain.

Fourteen articulated skeletons of men, women, and children, along with other human remains, were discovered in one of six smaller side cells surrounding a large stone chamber.

“In the Neolithic era, it would have been an incredibly impressive 15 meters in diameter, an enormous mound, very large stonework, very impressive architecture. It would have been incredibly impressive,” said Hugo Andersson-Wymark, one of the co-directors of the excavation and chief curator of prehistory. (Neolithic) at the National Museums of Scotland, told CNN: These cells are true feats of engineering.

Two of the skeletons were positioned so that they were almost hugging each other, with two children placed on top of their heads, Anderson Wymark said. However, archaeologists have not yet determined the relationships between these individuals.

Archaeologist Vicky Cummings, head of the School of History, Archeology and Religion at Cardiff University, said: “The preservation of so much human remains in one part of the memorial is astonishing, especially as the stone was mostly stolen for use as building material.” -Directed the excavation work, he said in a statement.

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“It is very rare to find such grave deposits, even in well-preserved graves, and these remains will allow new insights into all aspects of these people’s lives,” she added.

National Museums of Scotland

The cemetery was largely destroyed in the 18th or 19th century for construction of a nearby farm.

A further 12 similar graves are known to exist in Orkney, referred to as the Maes Howe-type passage graves. Most of them are still visible in the landscape, unlike this recent discovery which was buried underground.

It was largely destroyed in the late 18th or early 19th century to provide stone for building a farm, according to the statement, but subsequent preliminary excavations in 1896 revealed eight skeletons and led local archaeologist James Walls Corseter to assume it was a ruined cemetery.

Papers in a private collection of Corister’s notes contain further evidence that allowed archaeologists to conduct a geophysical survey in the hope of identifying the possible grave, and providing the basis for excavations.

“It was a huge surprise to make this discovery,” Anderson-Weimark said. “It’s a big thing, but today it’s just a gently rolling field of grass. There’s nothing on the surface to suggest this grave ever existed, but it would have been a wonderful memorial. We’re lucky they left us enough of it.”

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