Westray Heritage Centre is open from 2-5pm every day this week.
Come and see our exhibition Farming - Changes and Challenges, the Westray Wife and other finds from the Links of Noltland, or browse our photograph collection in the Archive Room.
A bronze age Skara Brae - new discovery at the Links of Noltland
named in world's top 10 archaeological discoveries
On-line heritage and archaeology magazine Heritage Daily has named the Bronze Age "sauna" at Links of Noltland as one of the top 10 important finds of 2015.
The Bronze Age ritual building is encased within a stony mound. Standing less than 5m from the coast edge, the mound has lost all of its vegetation cover in the last 2 -3 years and is now eroding away very rapidly.
Work in May this year revealed an almost perfectly preserved well house with a stairway leading down to 2.5m deep cistern.
The current excavation is investigating an associated building which is entirely encased inside the mound and would originally have been entered via a doorway in the side of the mound, and then along a narrow stone passage, some 10m long.
The main chamber was dominated by a large tank, set into the floor, around which four roofed cells provided accommodation. This part of the building survives to the level of the roof, although the central roof had collapsed inwards in antiquity, possibly as the result of a massive sandstorm. With the interior becoming engulfed with sand, the building was not subsequently disturbed and was found with two intact BA pots set over the filled in interior- possibly placed there as a votive offering.
Feasting may well have figured large, other possibilities include use as a sweat-lodge / sauna are also likely.
Click here for Heritage Dailys top 10 www.heritagedaily.com/2015/12/top-10-archaeological-discoveries-of-2015/108888
Heritage Trust publications
What's On, Aff, Been in Westray
The island's newsletter is produced each month (usually the last week of the month) and is available in all the Westray shops or from the online sales section. Back numbers are also available.
You can order copies direct from the heritage centre and you have the option to buy a single issue for £1.50, or pay £16.50 in advance for 12 issues.
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