Scotland's Coastal Heritage at Risk

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South Voxter / Mail (6557)

Current Priority
2
East
443539
North
1127900
Site Type
Human Burials
Period
Indeterminate

Human remains, representing in-situ burials, are visible in a coastal exposure which measures 2m long by 0.85m high. The remains lie in stone-lined graves, cut in the sandy subsoil, and covered by turf and topsoil. The graves are aligned E-W and therefore likely to date to the Christian era. At least two individuals are represented by the in-situ remains, with at least one more individual represented by loose bones found strewn about the foreshore. The in-situ burials have been truncated by coastal erosion; the lower leg and feet bones are missing from one skeleton, while the other is missing all of the lower limb bones. The loose bone includes pelvis, tarsal and metatarsals. Human remains have been found in this area in the past and the site is thought to be a burial ground 'of ancient date'. The remains currently exposed require immediate attention and further survey and monitoring work will be required to determine the extent of archaeological deposits. This site should be given special attention since it is located in the near vicinity and may be associated with the graveyard at Mail. This site has yielded several carved stones and Viking artefacts and appears to have been a centre of influence from the Iron Age period onward.

27/05/14 Four coastal exposures, each approx 1m high and from 1.5m to 5m wide. Thick cultivation soil overlies till and bedrock. One stone drain observed. Two bone frags, unsure whether human or animal. No evidence of inhumations.

Condition and current recommendations:

Condition
Good
Action
Visit - check condition; characterise site and obtain dating evidence ;
Survey site - using several techniques to characterise site ;
Excavate site - open area

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Record SM22 on map South Mainland: Map 2 in Shetland Coastal Survey: South Mainland, Lunnasting, Whalsay, 1998

Other records:

NMRS
942
SMR
SMR746

ShoreUpdates

1 ShoreUpdate accepted and 0 pending.

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27th May, 2014 by training1
Survey Information
User:
training1
Date:
May 27, 2014
Tidal state:
low
Site located?:
Yes
Condition Information
Proximity to coast edge:
coast edge
Coastally eroding?:
active sea erosion
Is there a coastal defence?:
no
Description:

Human remains, representing in-situ burials, are visible in a coastal exposure which measures 2m long by 0.85m high. The remains lie in stone-lined graves, cut in the sandy subsoil, and covered by turf and topsoil. The graves are aligned E-W and therefore likely to date to the Christian era. At least two individuals are represented by the in-situ remains, with at least one more individual represented by loose bones found strewn about the foreshore. The in-situ burials have been truncated by coastal erosion; the lower leg and feet bones are missing from one skeleton, while the other is missing all of the lower limb bones. The loose bone includes pelvis, tarsal and metatarsals. Human remains have been found in this area in the past and the site is thought to be a burial ground 'of ancient date'. The remains currently exposed require immediate attention and further survey and monitoring work will be required to determine the extent of archaeological deposits. This site should be given special attention since it is located in the near vicinity and may be associated with the graveyard at Mail. This site has yielded several carved stones and Viking artefacts and appears to have been a centre of influence from the Iron Age period onward.

27/05/14 Four coastal exposures, each approx 1m high and from 1.5m to 5m wide. Thick cultivation soil overlies till and bedrock. One stone drain observed. Two bone frags, unsure whether human or animal. No evidence of inhumations.

Management Information
How visible are the remains? (above ground):
not visible
How visible are the remains? (in section):
limited visibility in section
How accessibile is the site?:
accessible on foot (no footpath)
The site is:
don't know
Comments and recommendations
Recommendations:

Site appears to have stabilised, modest areas of discrete erosion, reassign to priority 3.