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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

First of all what is a crannog? It is a type of ancient loch-dwelling found throughout Scotland and Ireland which can date from about 5000 years ago. More often than not built out on water, though in England we have the similar ‘lake’ settlements of Meare and Glastonbury.

They can be seen as defensive, places of habitation and refuge usually fortified. Built up on layers of rocks with wooden stakes driven into the loch bed, and connected to the land by a causeway.

The Scottish Crannog at Kenmore is a reconstruction of an early Iron-Age thatched roundhouse on the banks of Loch Tay in need of restoration. Information about the centre can be found here – Home of the Crannog Dwellers and the work is being carried out with the help of a grant from a Perth and Kinross Council’s grants scheme.
The restoration work is being done by a team from Poland, called Archeo-Serwis, they come from the open air Museum at Biskupin, near Bydgoszcz. This museum features an early Iron Age settlement reconstruction with two rows of timber town houses. Information on the site can be found here on Wikipedia and see also the Perthshire Advertiser.
 

Update;   http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1189397?

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