Prehistoric houses at Sumburgh in Shetland: excavations at Sumburgh Airport 1967-74
Excavations at Sumburgh Airport in the 1960s and 70s discovered stone-built houses of the later Bronze Age and the early Iron Age. This report describes the results of the excavations (stone walls, paved areas, hearths, cubicles) and of the analysis of the stratigraphy and the position of the artefacts. It shows how one house was added to the other, and how both were then substantially modified. Comparison with other sites shows that the two-house unit was a feature of the later Bronze Age in Shetland in contrast to earlier Bronze Age oval houses and later Iron Age circular houses divided by radial piers, and that longevity of occupation was usual with the three house forms suceeding each other as here at Sumburgh.
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Site Location and Topography by J Downes and R Lamb
Corridor between the North and South Houses
7 other sections not shown
analysis appears ard marks ard points armlets artefact types assemblage battle-axe Benie Hoose Bowl Form Bowl Type Bronze Age phases Bronze Age Village burnished carinated coarse stone cobble tools cordons cubicle decoration deposits derived drain earlier earliest occurrence early Iron Age east exterior external contexts fabric group flaked stone bars flat flint fragments grooves Hamilton handled clubs heart-shaped pieces hearth illustrated indicate inner interior interpreted Jar Type Jarlshof Kebister knapping later Bronze Age later phases layer material Mavis Grind midden Neolithic Ness of Gruting North House north-east occur orthostats oval paved floor Phase 9 ploughing ploughsoil post-excavation postholes pottery pottery vessels pumice quartz Raymond Lamb red clay rim Jar Form rubble sand sandblow sandstone shale shape sherds Shetland side similar soapstone soil South House Stanydale steatite stone artefacts Stone building structures Sumburgh Airport surface thickness vessel types wall wall-face wear traces yellow clay