Sanday Archaeology Group

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Nominated for Category B: Caring and Protecting - Volunteer-led involvement in saving/restoring heritage sites and buildings.

Sanday Archaeology Group for Sanday Heritage Centre

The low-lying island of Sanday has one of the richest concentrations of eroding archaeological sites in the whole of Scotland. Some imperilled sites, such as the Viking Boat Burial at Scar, are world famous, but numerous others remain threatened.

To help redress this, the Sanday Archaeology Group aims to save as much of their eroding heritage as possible. They have walked the entire coast, updating records and reporting new discoveries as part of the Scotland’s Coastal Heritage at Risk Project. Wishing to do more to save sites, the group nominated the severely threatened Bronze Age structure at Meur as a ShoreDig Project – proposing to move the remains stone-by-stone from the beach to the newly refurbished Heritage Centre. Although the site had been previously excavated, the group’s project led to new discoveries, including a previously unknown well, complete with corbelled roof and steps leading to a chamber. The group moved the structures across the island and rebuilt them next to the Heritage Centre.

They have also designed interpretive material that provides information about the buildings and the wider threats to the island’s archaeology.