Page last updated at 01:08 GMT, Friday, 18 September 2009 02:08 UK

Bones discovery 'extremely rare'

The cist was found on a farm in Sutherland

Bones recovered from an ancient burial site in the Highlands could provide fresh insight of life in the Bronze Age, archaeologists have said.

Parts of a skull, some bones and teeth were in a cist - a rectangular stone chamber - uncovered by a digger operator in Sutherland in February.

In a report to Historic Scotland, archaeologists have described the find as "extremely rare" and "valuable".

They have recommended detailed analysis of the remains and the cist.

Wood, wicker and evidence of fur were retrieved from the burial site. It was thought the body was wrapped in animal fur.

Specialist analysis

Police and Historic Scotland were alerted to the discovery at Langwell Farm in Strath Oykel by farmer Jonathan Hampton.

The bones were taken to Dornoch Police Station, but later handed over to archaeologists.

Experts from Highland Council have been involved in investigations of the site.

Historic Scotland commissioned Glasgow University Archaeological Research Division (Guard) to assess what was found.

Its report, which has also been sent to Highland Council, recommends specialist analysis of the excavated materials and radio carbon dating.

The document's authors wrote: "The Langwell Farm cist is an extremely rare and valuable find with the potential to reveal a great deal about contemporary life and burial practice."

Bronze Age technology came to Britain from Europe about 4,000 years ago and historians see it as a crucial link between the Stone and Iron Ages.

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