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Excavations of a medieval cemetery at Skaill House, and a cist in the Bay of Skaill, Sandwick, Orkney

Excavations of a medieval cemetery at Skaill House, and a cist in the Bay of Skaill, Sandwick, Orkney

James, Heather F.

(with contributions by D H Lorimer & J Roberts)

Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 129 (1999), 753-777

ABSTRACT
A medieval cemetery and structural remains were discovered during drainage works at Skaill House,
Sandwick, Orkney. Several skeletons were salvaged by the Orkney Islands Archaeologist and later
excavations by GUARD revealed further cisted burials. These have been radiocarbon dated to
between the llth and 14th centuries. At the Bay of Skaill the upper half of a cisted burial was
salvaged after it had been exposed by the effects of coastal erosion. A radiocarbon date from the
bone shows that the burial belongs to the seventh century AD. Structural elementspre-dating the cist
were also seen in the eroding cliff-face, and these were probably prehistoric. The excavation and
publication were funded by Historic Scotland.

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