OCHRE HAND IMPRINT OF HOMO ERECTUS REVEALED
Article created on Saturday, December 21, 2013
Once again, the Homo erectus site of Lehberg near Haidershofen in the Lower Austrian part of the Enns (a southern tributary of the Danube River), is in the spotlight for Lower Palaeolithic research.
After the recent discovery of several well-preserved hand axes of Acheulean age dating to approximately 500,000 years ago, as well as a phallus shaped object coated with traces of ocre (see Fundsache Homo erectus, Archaeology Online 2012) a number of hammerstones were also recovered.
These hammerstones of oval quartzite and quartz cobbles come from the local Günz-gravels and have clear use marks on the longitudinal edges. However, after close examination, one of these stones revealed something quite remarkable.
During laboratory examination of the finds under a stereoscopic light microscope, a quartzite hammerstone was shown to have a peculiar line of reddish ochre along a well-defined and particularly striking side. Natural sediment retention in the cobble itself was excluded, and it suddenly became obvious that what was being observed, was the outline of the ball and thumb of a 500,000 year-old hand.
The use surface was compatible with it being held in such a way that the hand would have covered the rest of the cobble, leaving only a partial outline in red ochre, echoing the famous hand prints in the cave paintings of France and Spain.
The hammerstone user was right-handed and the resulting curved trace of colour on the stone was caused by trituration (the process for reducing particle size of a substance by grinding) of ochre with liquid, showing Homo erectus was undoubtedly using this as a form of paint at the site of Lehberg.
Constant use of the hammerstone in the same way and for the same purpose allowed the ochre particles to become ingrained along the same point where the hand would have rubbed against the stone.
Generally known as trace fossils these transient negative imprints from the past include the dinosaur tracks of the the Jurassic and Cretaceous and the 3.6 million years old fossilised australopithecine footprints in volcanic ash of Laetoli near Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, Africa.
The hand-prints from caves in France and northern Spain are associated in most cases with Homo sapiens and so fall into the remit of archaeology. However, this hand-print of Homo erectus, must be regarded as a trace of an extinct species and therefore a ‘trace fossil‘, putting it into the discipline of Palaeontology.
The impression from Lehberg will certainly not be a unique example, though it was found under unique circumstances but the future may require more attention to such phenomena that lies at the interface between archaeology and the geosciences or palaeontology.
Neanderthal Genome Sequence Reveals Interbreeding In Four Early Human Species
Neanderthals, Denisovans, modern humans, and a mysterious fourth species make for a more complex prehistory.
Wed, Dec 18, 2013
The most complete sequence to date of the Neanderthal genome, using DNA extracted from a woman's toe bone that dates back 50,000 years, reveals a long history of interbreeding among at least four different types of early humans living in Europe and Asia at that time, according to a University of California, Berkeley, team of scientists.
Population geneticist Montgomery Slatkin, graduate student Fernando Racimo and post-doctoral student Flora Jay were part of an international team of anthropologists and geneticists who generated a high-quality sequence of the Neanderthal genome and compared it with the genomes of modern humans and a recently recognized group of early humans called Denisovans.
The comparison shows that Neanderthals and Denisovans are very closely related, and that their common ancestor split off from the ancestors of modern humans about 400,000 years ago. Neanderthals and Denisovans split about 300,000 years ago.
Though Denisovans and Neanderthals eventually died out, they left behind bits of their genetic heritage because they occasionally interbred with modern humans. The research team estimates that between 1.5 and 2.1 percent of the genomes of modern non-Africans can be traced to Neantherthals.
Denisovans also left genetic traces in modern humans, though only in some Oceanic and Asian populations. The genomes of Australian aborigines, New Guineans and some Pacific Islanders are about 6 percent Denisovan genes, according to earlier studies. The new analysis finds that the genomes of Han Chinese and other mainland Asian populations, as well as of native Americans, contain about 0.2 percent Denisovan genes.
The genome comparisons also show that Denisovans interbred with a mysterious fourth group of early humans also living in Eurasia at the time. That group had split from the others more than a million years ago, and may have been the group of human ancestors known as Homo erectus, the fossils of which indicate their presence in Europe and Asia a million or more years ago.
"The paper really shows that the history of humans and hominins during this period was very complicated," said Slatkin, a UC Berkeley professor of integrative biology. "There was a lot of interbreeding that we know about and probably other interbreeding we haven't yet discovered."
In another analysis, Jay discovered that the Neanderthal woman whose toe bone provided the DNA was highly inbred. The woman's genome indicates that she was the daughter of a very closely related mother and father who either were half-siblings who shared the same mother, an uncle and niece or aunt and nephew, a grandparent and grandchild, or double first-cousins (the offspring of two siblings who married siblings).
Further analyses suggest that the population sizes of Neanderthals and Denisovans were small and that inbreeding may have been more common in Neanderthal groups than in modern populations.
As part of the new study, Racimo was able to identify at least 87 specific genes in modern humans that are significantly different from related genes in Neanderthals and Denisovans, and that may hold clues to the behavioral differences distinguishing us from early human populations that died out.
"There is no gene we can point to and say, 'This accounts for language or some other unique feature of modern humans,'" Slatkin said. "But from this list of genes, we will learn something about the changes that occurred on the human lineage, though those changes will probably be very subtle."
According to Svante Pääbo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, the list of genes "is a catalog of genetic features that sets all modern humans apart from all other organisms, living or extinct. I believe that in it hide some of the things that made the enormous expansion of human populations and human culture and technology in the last 100,000 years possible".
The Pääbo group last year produced a high-quality Denisovan genome based on DNA from a pinky finger bone discovered in 2008 in Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains of Southern Siberia. That bone is from a young woman who lived about 40,000 years ago. The Neanderthal toe bone was found in the same cave in 2010, though in a deeper layer of sediment that is thought to be about 10,000-20,000 years older. The cave also contains modern human artifacts, meaning that at least three groups of early humans occupied the cave at different times. The Pääbo group developed new techniques to extract DNA from these old bones.
This is the Denisova Cave entrance, located in the Altai Mountains of southern Siberia, Russia. The cave was inhabitated at various times by three different groups of early humans: Neanderthals, Denisovans and modern humans. Credit: Copyright Bence Viola
Slatkin noted that no one is sure how long the various now-extinct groups lasted, but there is evidence that Neanderthals and modern humans coexisted in Europe and Asia for at least 30,000 years. Interbreeding was infrequent, though how infrequent is unclear given the genomic information available today.
"We don't know if interbreeding took place once, where a group of Neanderthals got mixed in with modern humans, and it didn't happen again, or whether groups lived side by side, and there was interbreeding over a prolonged period," he said.
The genome analysis is published in the Dec. 19 issue of the journal Nature. Slatkin, Racimo and Jay are members of a large team led by former UC Berkeley post-doc Svante Pääbo, who is now at the Max Planck Institute.
Source: Edited and adapted from a University of California - Berkeley press release.
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Before Stonehenge - did this man lord it over Wiltshire's sacred landscape?
How 21st-century science is recreating the life story of a neolithic leader - what he looked like, where he grew up and what he ate
DAVID KEYS ARCHAEOLOGY CORRESPONDENT Monday 16 December 2013
Archaeologists have just completed the most detailed study ever carried out of the life story of a prehistoric Briton.
What they have discovered sheds remarkable new light on the people who, some 5500 years ago, were building the great ritual monuments of what would become the sacred landscape of Stonehenge.
A leading forensic specialist has also used that prehistoric Briton's skull to produce the most life-like, and arguably the most accurate, reconstruction of a specific individual's face from British prehistory.
The new research gives a rare glimpse into upper class life back in the Neolithic.
Five and a half millennia ago, he was almost certainly a very prominent and powerful individual - and he is about to be thrust into the limelight once again. For his is the prehistoric face that will welcome literally millions of visitors from around the world to English Heritage's new Stonehenge visitor centre after it opens tomorrow, Wednesday. The organisation estimates that around 1.2 million tourists from dozens of countries will 'meet' him as they explore the new visitor centre over the next 12 months.
The new scientific research has revealed, to an unprecedented degree, who this 'face of prehistory' really was.
He was born around 5500 years ago, well to the west or north-west of the Stonehenge area, probably in Wales (but conceivably in Devon or Brittany)
Aged two, he was taken east, presumably by his parents, to an area of chalk geology - probably Wiltshire (around the area that would, 500 years later, become the site of early Stonehenge). However, aged 9, he then moved back to the west (potentially to the area where he had been born) - and then, aged 11, he moved back east once more (again, potentially to the Stonehenge area).
Aged 12, 14 and 15, he travelled back and forth between east and west for short durations and at increased frequency. Scientists, analysing successive layers of the enamel in his teeth, have been able to work all this out by analysing the isotopic values of the chemical elements strontium (which changed according to underlying geology) and oxygen which reflected the sources of his drinking water.
He grew into a taller than average man, reaching an adult height of 172 centimetres. In Neolithic Britain, the average height for adult males was 165 centimetres, while in Britain today it is 176. He probably weighed around 76 kilos (12 stone) and had fairly slender build. Throughout his life, he seems to have consumed a much less coarse diet than was normal at the time . His teeth show much lighter wear than many other examples from the Neolithic. He also had a much higher percentage of meat and dairy produce in his diet than would probably have been normal at the time.
By analysing nitrogen isotope levels in his teeth, a scientific team at the University of Southampton, led by archaeologist Dr Alistair Pike, have worked out that he obtained 80-90% of his protein from animals - probably mainly cattle, sheep and deer.
A detailed osteological examination of his skeleton, carried out by English Heritage scientist, Dr Simon Mays, has revealed that he probably led a relatively peaceful life. The only visible injuries showed that he had damaged a knee ligament and torn a back thigh muscle - both injuries, potentially sustained at the same time, that would have put him out of action for no more than a few weeks.
There is also no evidence of severe illness - and an examination of hypoplasia (tooth enamel deformation) levels suggest that at least his childhood was free of nutritional stress or severe disease. Hypoplasia provides a record of stress through a person's childhood and early teenage years.
But he seems to have died relatively young, probably in his late 20s or 30s. At present it is not known what caused his death.
However, he was probably given an impressive funeral - and certainly buried in a ritually very important location.
Initially his body was almost certainly covered by a turf mound but some years or decades later, this mound was massively enlarged to form a very substantial mausoleum - one of the grandest known from Neolithic Britain. He was the only individual buried there during his era - although a thousand or more years later, several more people were interred in less prominent locations within the monument.
This great mausoleum - 83 metres long and several metres high - was treated with substantial respect throughout most of prehistory - and can still be seen today some one and half miles west of Stonehenge. Fifteen hundred years after his death, his tomb became the key monument in a new cemetery for the Stonehenge elites of the early Bronze Age.
All the new evidence combines to suggest that he was a very important individual - a prominent member of the early Neolithic elite.
The research into his life has yielded a number of fascinating new revelations about that period of British prehistory.
First of all, it hints at the degree to which society was stratified by this time in prehistory. Far from being an egalitarian society, as many have tended to think, the evidence points in the opposite direction. Most early Neolithic people were not given such grand mausolea . The type of monument which was constructed over his grave (known to archaeologists as a long barrow) was primarily a place of ritual, not just a place associated with burial. By having one erected over him, he was being given a very special honour.
Of the 350 such long barrows known in Britain, it is estimated that 50% had no burials in them at all, that a further 25% had just one person buried in them - and that most of the remaining quarter had between five and 15 buried in each of them.
Secondly, it shows, arguably for the first time, that high social status in the early Neolithic was already a matter of heredity. The isotopic tests on the man's teeth show quite clearly that his privileged high meat diet was already a key feature in his life during childhood.
Thirdly, the scientific investigation suggests that at least the elite of the period was associated with a very wide geographical area. In other words, they were not simply a local elite but, at the very least, a regional one. The fact that he seems to have moved back and forth between the west of Britain (probably Wales) and the southern chalklands (probably the Stonehenge area) every few years, at least during his childhood and teenage years, suggests that his family had important roles in both areas.
Given the ritual significance of the Stonehenge area, even at this early stage, it is possible that he and his father and other ancestors before him had been hereditary tribal or even conceivably pan-tribal priests or shamans in a possibly semi-nomadic society. It is also likely that such people also played roles in the secular governance of emerging political entities at the time.
The Neolithic man's mausoleum: the 83 metre long mid-4th millennium BC Winterbourne Stoke long barrow, top left The Neolithic man's mausoleum: the 83 metre long mid-4th millennium BC Winterbourne Stoke long barrow (English Heritage)
Most tantalizing of all, is the newly revealed likely link between Wales and the pre-Stonehenge ritual landscape. When the first phase of Stonehenge itself was finally built in around 3000 BC, the stones that were probably erected there were not, at that stage, the great sarsens which dominate the site today, but were probably the much smaller so-called 'bluestones' (some of which are still there).
Significantly, it is known from geological analysis that those bluestones originally came from south-west Wales - and were therefore almost certainly brought from there to Stonehenge by Neolithic Britons.
Indeed, as late as the 12th century AD, the Anglo-Norman chronicler, Geoffrey of Monmouth, wrote down an ancient legend also suggesting that the stones had come from the west (albeit, in his account, from Ireland, rather than Wales). Archaeologists will now be investigating whether the Stonehenge landscape's link with Wales was in reality even older than that first phase of the monument.
In that sense it is spookily relevant that the mid-fourth millennium BC man chosen by English Heritage to be the 'face of the Neolithic' may actually have been a key part of the original cultural process which ultimately, five centuries later, led to early Stonehenge being erected.
The new visitor centre - built with steel, wood and glass in ultra-modern style - tells the story of Stonehenge and its prehistoric ritual landscape and illustrates it with 300 mainly stone and ceramic artefacts from antiquarian and archaeological excavations carried out around the great stone monument over the past two centuries.
Ancient Spider Rock Art Sparks Archaeological Mystery
By Owen Jarus, LiveScience Contributor | December 20, 2013 11:03am ET
Archaeologists have discovered a panel containing the only known example of spider rock art in Egypt and, it appears, the entire Old World.
The rock panel, now in two pieces, was found on the west wall of a shallow sandstone wadi, or valley, in the Kharga Oasis, located in Egypt's western desert about 108 miles (175 kilometers) west of Luxor. Facing east, and illuminated by the morning sun, the panel is a "very unusual" find, said Egyptologist Salima Ikram, a professor at the American University in Cairo who co-directs the North Kharga Oasis Survey Project.
The identification of the creatures as spiders is tentative and the date of it uncertain, Ikram told LiveScience in an email. Even so, based on other activity in the area, the rock art may date to about 4000 B.C. or earlier, which would put it well into prehistoric times, before Egypt was unified, noted Ikram, who detailed the finding in the most recent edition of the journal Sahara.
The main panel shows what appear to be a few spiders, with a "star" that's possibly meant to depict a web next to the spider on the far left. There are also comblike drawings that are more enigmatic; Ikram said they could be insects being trapped by the spiders, plants or even silken tubes spun by the spiders.
A piece of rock that appears to have been broken off the main panel depicts creatures drawn in a different style, their limbs not flexed, but ratherhave a flat appearance. This could be an attempt to portray a harvestman, an insect that looks like a spider.
The discovery leaves archaeologists with a mystery — why did people in the Kharga Oasis create rock art showing spiders, especially when no other examples are known to exist elsewhere in Egypt or, it appears, the entire Old World?
There is little evidence the ancient Egyptians had much interest in drawing spiders. The only spider hieroglyphs that Ikram knows of are rare examples from "religious texts dealing with the so-called 'Opening of the Mouth' ritual, a rite that was performed on the mummy or a statue to restore its senses for use in the Hereafter."
The secret to solving the mystery may lie more in the western desert itself. Ikram consulted with Hisham El-Hennawy, an arachnologist who mentioned spiders called Argiope lobata living in the western and eastern deserts may have attracted the interest of ancient people. These spiders can be found "shaded and surviving, in the middle of their orb web under the burning sun at Noon," Ikram writes.
The idea of spiders bathing in the sun may hold religious significance to ancient people in the area. "This would combine the force of the sun and the ability of this solar creature to survive its heat successfully, and thus be worthy of reverence or totemic allegiance," she writes in the Sahara article.
In addition, some spiders in Egypt are known to bite people and pose a danger, something that may have attracted ancient interest, and hence, the creepy-crawly rock art, Ikram said. It's also possible that spiders were more prevalent in the oasis in the past, something the environmental research her team is conducting may shed light on. Another possibility is that whoever drew these depictions didn't have a special reason in mind but just felt, for whatever reason, like trying to draw spiders. Spiders are of interest for several cultures around the world, she noted.
Whatever the reasons were for creating the spider rock art, the ancient people of the oasis left something unique behind, in a creepy-crawly way. These "images are noteworthy if they are indeed spiders, as these would be unique depictions of such creatures in Old World rock art," writes Ikram.
Qin armor unearthed at Terracotta site
Global Times | 2013-12-18 23:57:00
By Zhang Yiwei
A 13,000-square-meter site at the mausoleum of China's first feudal emperor, which is predicted by archeologists to be a huge underground arsenal, is now under preliminary excavation.
The excavation is expected to be a potentially major archeological discovery that would help the world to learn more about the history of the Qin Dynasty (221BC-206BC).
According to a Tuesday report by China Central Television (CCTV), stone helmets and armor for both soldiers and horses have been discovered at the mausoleum of Emperor Qin, some 35 kilometers from Xi'an in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province.
Emperor Qin, or Qin Shihuang, first unified the Chinese territory in a centralized state as an absolute monarch in 221BC, and founded the Qin Dynasty.
About 700,000 workers toiled unceasingly until the emperor's death to construct his mausoleum, which has been inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The most famous discovery from the mausoleum was the life-sized terracotta statues of warriors in 1974.
According to the CCTV report, archeologists predict that more than 6,000 sets of helmets and armor are buried under site K9801, which has recently been excavated, almost the same number as the Terracotta Warriors unearthed in the mausoleum's Pit 1, which opened to visitors in 1979.
The report said armor had been developed as early as the Qin Dynasty, according to historical records, but this is the first time that Qin armor was excavated.
The report showed several helmets and armor which had been unearthed from the site. Stone plates that made up armor were burnished with a consistent size and thickness, while the plates were subtly connected with bronze wires to ensure flexibility in battle.
However, historical records said that real armor in the Qin Dynasty was made of feathers and metal, as stone would have been too cumbersome.
"The arsenal was built merely to be buried with Emperor Qin. This armor cannot be real as it can be broken easily with a stick," Duan Qingbo, vice president of the School of Cultural Heritage at Northwest University in Xi'an, told the Global Times, noting that it took an enormous amount of manual labor to make the armor.
There was an excavation 15 years previously near Emperor Qin's mausoleum that Duan was involved in. This uncovered armor and military equipment, such as bronze carts and arrows, he said, but the excavation was stopped due to its small academic value and the potential damage to the site back then.
Staff members at Emperor Qin Shihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum Wednesday declined to comment on the renewed excavation.
Archeologists found it bewildering that none of the Terracotta Warriors were found equipped with helmets given that helmets were buried with Emperor Qin, but speculation that real-life soldiers were brave enough to not need helmets was disproved.
The grave was found to have been burned down once historically. Archeologists believe that the fire occurred at the end of the Qin Dynasty when peasant rebellions against the violent reign of Qin were concentrated, but the specific reason for the fire remains unsolved, said the report.
Inscriptions Everywhere! Magical Medieval Crypt Holds 7 Male Mummies
By Owen Jarus, LiveScience Contributor, December 17, 2013 12:16pm ET
A 900-year-old medieval crypt, containing seven naturally mummified bodies and walls covered with inscriptions, has been excavated in a monastery at Old Dongola, the capital of a lost medieval kingdom that flourished in the Nile Valley.
Old Dongola is located in modern-day Sudan, and 900 years ago, it was the capital of Makuria, a Christian kingdom that lived in peace with its Islamic neighbor to the north.
One of the mummies in the crypt (scientists aren't certain which one) is believed to be that of Archbishop Georgios, probably the most powerful religious leader in the kingdom. His epitaph was found nearby and says that he died in A.D. 1113 at the age of 82. [The Science of Death: 10 Tales from the Crypt & Beyond]
The inscriptions on the walls of the crypt, inscribed with black ink on a thin layer of whitewash (paint), were written in Greek and Sahidic Coptic. They include excerpts from the gospels of Luke, John, Mark and Matthew, magical names and signs and a prayer given by the Virgin Mary, at the end of which death appears to her "in the form of a rooster." After Mary dies, according to the text, she ascends to heaven with Jesus.
The inscriptions, written by "Ioannes," who left a signature on three and possibly four of the walls, likely served as protection for the deceased against evil powers, the researchers said.
They were "intended to safeguard not only the tomb, but primarily those who were buried inside of it during the dangerous liminal period between the moment of dying and their appearance before the throne of God," write Adam Łajtar, of the University of Warsaw, and Jacques van der Vliet, of Leiden University, in the most recent edition of the journal Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean.
The crypt contained the bodies of seven older males, no younger than 40, said anthropologist Robert Mahler, a researcher with the University of Warsaw who examined the remains.
The crypt was likely sealed after the last of the burials took place. "The entrance to the chamber was closed with red bricks bonded in mud mortar," writes Włodzimierz Godlewski, the current director of the Polish Mission to Dongola, in an article in the same journal.
While the mummies' clothing is very poorly preserved, textile specialist Barbara Czaja-Szewczak, with the Wilanów Palace Museum, determined the men were dressed very simply, mainly in linen garments. The garments "consisted of robes characterized by a fairly simple design. Linen predominated," she wrote in an article in the same journal. At least some of the individuals wore crosses somewhere on their body.
The crypt was first found in 1993 by the Polish Mission to Dongola, which at the time was led by director Stefan Jakobielski. However, it wasn't excavated until 2009. During excavations, the bodies were removed and studied, the crypt walls cleaned and its inscriptions recorded and studied in greater detail. Research efforts are ongoing and a complete record of the texts is expected to be detailed in a book in the future.
A lost kingdom
At the time the crypt was created, Makuria was at its height. Its kings, ruling from Old Dongola, controlled territory throughout much of modern-day Sudan and parts of southern Egypt. [See Photos of Sudan's Beautiful Pyramids]
"The period between the late eighth and 12th centuries is claimed to have been the golden age of Makuria," said Artur Obluski, a research associate with the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute and the University of Warsaw's Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, at a recent lecture at Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum.
Makuria's ability to maintain good relations with its Islamic neighbor to the north, the Fatimid Caliphate, which controlled Egypt, was important to the kingdom's success, said Obluski. The two had an extensive trade relationship, and many people from Makuria served in the Fatimid army.
Arab historians at the time were impressed by the Christian monasteries they saw at Makuria. Though some reports of these monasteries were exaggerated, archaeologists have found some fantastic medieval churches, including recently excavated examples at Banganarti.
Makuria's end came when the Ayyubid dynasty took control of Egypt in A.D. 1171. They launched an invasion of northern Makuria, bringing about a period of decline and eventually the loss of the kingdom's independence.
Follow us @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on LiveScience.
Storms could reveal new archaeological sites in Scotland
17 December 2013 Last updated at 11:31
The recent storms that hit the Scottish coastline could reveal important new archaeological sites, according to Fife scientists.
St Andrews University archaeologists are appealing to the public to help find sites that have been uncovered by the storms.
They also hoping people contact them to record local sites that have been damaged by the recent bad weather.
Scotland has been badly damaged by wind and rain over the last two weeks.
A few of the most famous sites in Scotland are shielded behind by sea walls, but the vast majority are unprotected and vulnerable to damage.
Tom Dawson, of St Andrews University researcher, said: "Scotland's coast is a treasure chest of information about the past, and some of Europe's best-preserved ancient sites were found buried in Scottish sand dunes.
"The sand has preserved sites for centuries, but recent storms have washed away parts of the coast edge, making this irreplaceable archive incredibly vulnerable."
He added that even a small amount of erosion can cause a great deal of damage and last year, four hundred year-old salt pans, Brora's first building, were destroyed in a storm in East Sutherland.
Scottish charity, SCAPE, fears many more sites may have been damaged after the recent storms, and is asking for help in recording what has survived and what has been lost.
Working with Historic Scotland and St Andrews University, their latest venture, the Scotland's Coastal Heritage at Risk Project (SCHARP) shows all sites found in recent surveys.
They are appealing for people to visit local sites and tell the project team if the sites have been damaged.
They are also asking for photos of sites and of stretches of beach affected during the storms.
Mr Dawson said: "The recent storms have been particularly violent, and last week, the spring tides mean that the sea was very high.
"There are already reports of changes to the coast, and in some cases, erosion has revealed new sites that we didn't know about.
"Some of Scotland's most famous sites were revealed after storms, and we want to know if another Skara Brae has been uncovered.
"The help of the public will help us to save Scotland's precious heritage."