Tomb of the Eagles / Isle of South Ronaldsay ***

Region: Orkney Islands

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The ancient tomb was first discovered in 1958, when farmer Ronnie Simison was digging around on the edge of his land for flagstones. He stumbled upon a chamber full of human skulls and ancient artifacts. Many years later in 1976 proper archeological excavations took place and the remains of up to 14 white-tailed sea eagles were found alongside nearly 16,000 human bones. Although technically called the Isbister Chambered Cairn, it is now more commonly referred to as the Tomb of the Eagles.

Carbon dating showed that the human remains were far older than the remains of the birds and, although somewhat hard to prove, it is likely that the birds must have been part of some ritual at a later date.