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Watching Brief

Date 28 August 2015 - 9 December 2015

Event ID 1087864

Category Recording

Type Watching Brief


An archaeological watching brief undertaken during ground-breaking works associated with the installation of an oil tank and supply pipe for St Magnus Cathedral. Archaeological features and deposits were preserved on the site, potentially relating to the medieval period, as well as deposits and features relating to the nineteenth- and early twentieth- century reorganisation of the kirkyard with a number of possible graves and grave plots tentatively identified within the excavated area. A significant area of the kirkyard area appears to have been truncated during the construction of a deep sewer to the southwest of the site in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century.

A number of disarticulated and commingled human remains were recovered during the watching brief. An osteoarchaeological analysis of 73 human skeletal elements/ fragments indicated that the remains represent a minimum number of six individuals from within St. Magnus Cathedral cemetery.

Information from Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology (ORCA).

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