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Skara Brae

Skara Brae

Work to strengthen the foundations of the sea wall near the famous Neolithic village of Skara Brae in Orkney is under way.

Coastal erosion is an ongoing situation around the coastline of Britain, Scotland in particular suffers from the wild pounding of the waves, and the present climate change is of course hastening this process.

There is nothing to be done against the forces of nature, recording the archaeological sites on our shorelines that are fast disappearing into the sea is perhaps the only way forward.  Skara Brae is protected by a sea wall four metres deep, but even so the sea is but a few metres from this wall.  The latest effort by Historic Scotland to protect this site is reinforcing a section of the wall that has been undermined by the waves.

Scape is a trust set up to promote research and conservation of Scotland’s coastline and has undertaken several projects in this direction

For further reading on the subject of coastal erosion Julie Gibson and Frank Bradford’s book – Rising Tide; The Loss of Coastal Heritage in Orkney can be found here.

Skara Brae was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999 and these words taken from Wikipedia sums up the great need to save or conserve this site.

Historic Scotland – Statement of Significance;

The monuments at the heart of Neolithic Orkney and Skara Brae proclaim the triumphs of the human spirit in early ages and isolated places. They were approximately contemporary with the mastabas of the archaic period of Egypt (first and second dynasties), the brick temples of Sumeria, and the first cities of the Harappa culture in India, and a century or two earlier than the Golden Age of China.  Unusually fine for their early date, and with a remarkablely rich survival of evidence, these sites stand as a visible symbol of the achievements of early people away from the traditional centres of civilisation.

Further news item 9th August 2009

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