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Transformation of the site

Reconstructing the site was a complex process and led to the transformation of the plot of land next to the Heritage Centre. This page shows how we got from this....

View from the seaward side of the site, showing the drain under construction, with the two orthostats (standing stones) that flank the tank in position. this.

Same view, with the finished site and path in place.

The page also has some views of the original site and how it looked when reconstructed


In order to replicate the burnt mound, it was decided to dig down and not build up, as a low hill lay on the reconstruction plot. A hole was dug that matched exactly the shape of the outer wall of the Bronze Age building.

The mound and Heritage Centre before work began

Helen marking out the shape of the outer walls. An electronic theodolite was used to survey the archaeological site and transfer the plan to the reconstruction area. Looking towards Lerwick

Same view - breaking out the hole to the exact shape of the outer faces of the wall of the archaeological site. A level used to ensure the depths were correct.

Same view - Jim, Rick and Liz placing one of the larger stones in place, with the shape of the inner walls marked onto the surface of the gravel. Marking the inner face of the wall was a daily task, as the line soon became obliterated during building work.


The part of the site that needed most preparation was the area where the tank and two side cells were to be placed. This was the deepest part of the site, almost one metre lower than some other floors within the structure.

Barbara dumping gravel to level the surface. Tom using the sledge hammer to shape the rock face. View looking straight inland.

Same view - Jim and Rick working on the tank.

Same view - the finished tank and one of the side cells


The major stones were placed into position first, and the walls of smaller stones built between them.

Major stones placed in the trench ready for moving into the correct position. Looking south, with the Heritage Centre behind.

Same view - a machine was used to help position some of the larger stones.

Same view, the completed rebuild with the hearth cell to the left.

Same relative view, but at the archaeological site.


Annotated photographs and detailed plans were used to help ensure the accuracy of the rebuild. Each stone had been numbered at the original site, and was placed in its relative position during the reconstruction work.

A photograph in use, showing the relative positions of the stones to help in the rebuilding work

Major stones in place at the southern end of the site, with the stretches of smaller walls being built between them. View facing the Heritage Centre.

Same relative view, but at the archaeological site - showing the desired aim.

Same view, the completed site, with Marion showing visitors around.







Site credits || Last updated: August 2008. To report any problems with the site, please contact the webmistress.

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