London, September 29 : An archaeological dig in the Isles has revealed a cremation pit containing a human jaw bone mixed with animal bones, which dates back to the Iron Age. According to a report in the Stornoway Gazette, other finds include a perfectly preserved hearth, with a clay foundation scratched with a cross, and a plethora of worked bone, shell and pottery artifacts.
Archaeologists said that the finds promise a breakthrough in understanding the mysterious ways of the pre-historic Hebridean.
The Iron Age site at Sloc Sabhaid on the tidal island of Baleshare, North Uist comprises a settlement of wheelhouses, round structures divided by internal radial walls forming rooms within the building.
A huge storm in 2005 tore away more than 150m of Baleshare's fragile coastline to reveal the 2,000-year-old settlement, which appears to extend some distance under neighboring croft land.
In a race against time, Scottish Coastal Archaeology and the Problem of Erosion (SCAPE) has been working to excavate and record the site before it is lost for ever to the sea.
Part of the settlement was dug out and recorded last year, shortly before a high August tide ripped away a further 3m of coastline and the excavated area with it.
This year, professional archaeologists, funded by Historic Scotland, have been joined on a three-week dig by volunteers from the local archaeology group, Access Archaeology.