Friday, January 12, 2007

Macabre secret of ancient cave revealed in TV series
The secrets of the ancient cave will be revealed next week in a BBC Scotland television series. It suggests that around 3000 years ago, people from across the north of Scotland, the islands, and possibly even Ireland, brought their dead children to Sculptor's Cave, near Lossiemouth.

Ian Shepherd, an archaeologist, has carried out numerous excavations in the remote cave. Uncovering skeletal parts from six children, his work brought to light skull parts in the cave's entrance, which from the way they lay, indicated there had at one time been fleshy heads on poles.

"From what we can tell, these were simply people mourning their dead children," Mr Shepherd said. Prior to his discovery of the skull parts in 1979, a previous excavation 50 years before by classical archaeologist Sylvia Benton found thousands of bone parts - largely from juveniles.

No indication of what in particular led them to hypothesize on the heads-on-poles scenario.