Food for thought: a survey of burnt mounds of Shetland and excavations at Tangwick
Burnt Mounds, Mound, Ritual
Tangwick; Shetland; Scotland; UK
A group of burnt mounds vulnerable to coastal erosion in Shetland was surveyed in Spring 1996. Rescue excavation conducted at one of these sites, Tangwick, uncovered a burnt mound in close association with a specialized, non-domestic structure of Bronze Age date. It is concluded that Tangwick represents a distinct site type, previously little recognized, and it is proposed that such sites may have been used for feasting, possibly on a seasonal basis. More broadly, the results of survey work indicate that burnt mounds in Shetland are not a homogenous class of site and this variety has not been adequately accounted for within the prevailing models. This project was funded by Historic Scotland and practical assistance was provided by Shetland Amenity Trust.