Another find at Kneep

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From Dave Roberts, first published in Uig News. Thanks to Andrew McVean for the photo of Carol Knott excavating at Kneep Headland.

In the middle of January fragments of human bones began to appear in large numbers on the surface of the sand at Kneep headland. The location was very close to the three burials that were examined there in January 2009. I called the local authority Archaeologist Deborah Anderson to report them. This is what anyone who notices any eroded human bones, or any archaeological remains, should do. She organised with Historic Scotland for an archaeologist to visit the site, and assess the situation. Carol Knott came out and proceeded, with my help, to excavate the burial. We spent a very cold few days on the job.

Until a report is published it is not wise to make statements about e xactly what was found. However we can say that there was a disturbed grave that contained an incomplete adult skeleton, and below that there was what appeared to be a complete skeleton of a baby. Whether the two were associated, and whether the burials took place at the same time, at this stage it is not possible to say. At the moment, it is very difficult to be certain about the date of the burials. Because of their position I would guess that they are probably Bronze Age, and associated with the already dated Bronze Age cairn.  This would make them very roughly 3000 years old. Analyses of the bone and soil samples and radio-carbon dating would answer these questions. Unfortunately, in the present economic climate it may not be possible to carry out a complete analysis of the remains from either the 2009 or the 2010 excavations.

Once again these recent discoveries highlight the importance of the Cnip headland as a place to respect, as it is a significant ancient burial ground.

These two skeletons bring to 16 the number of burials found at Cnip headland so far.  information about the 2009 excavation is given here. That was almost exactly a year ago: it’s the winter winds that are exposing the burials.