Bronze Age Bressay

Relocated Bronze Age building opens

A Bronze Age building which was relocated brick by brick to save it from coastal erosion has been opened to the public.
The ancient building on Bressay in the Shetland Islands dates from between 1500 and 1200 BC, and was discovered during an excavation eight years ago.
The building at Cruester is believed to be linked to a nearby “burnt mound”, a large heap of fire-damaged stones thought to be once used for feasts, baths or saunas.
Burnt mounds are quite common throughout Britain and Ireland, but very few of them have been found with associated structures.
For the past three months, archaeologists, specialists and local volunteers dismantled, photographed and numbered each stone before moving them to their new location next to the Bressay Heritage Centre, near Lerwick.
During the excavation in 2000, a series of dry-stone walled cells connected by two corridors were found, along with a stone tank thought to have been used to boil meat.
As a result of their concerns about erosion of the building from the sea, the local Bressay History Group enlisted the help of St Andrews University and Archaeology Scotland.
Funding was acquired from a number of bodies, and a specialist team of dry-stone builders then worked on the reconstruction.
Archaeologist Tom Dawson, from St Andrews University, said: “Coastal erosion is threatening thousands of sites around Scotland, and the local group here came up with a novel idea for dealing with the problem.
“Seeing the stones from the original building being transported away in a fleet of tractors was a fantastic sight.”

Bronze Age building moves to save it from erosion by sea

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