Prehistoric house discovered on site of new Total gas plant

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A previously unknown archaeological site has come to light during work on Total’s Laggan-Tormore gas plant. As a result, a team of archaeologists has been excavating a prehistoric house and other associated structures over the past six weeks.

The site was found by local archaeologist Rick Barton, one of a team of archaeologists working on the development for ORCA, the Orkney based archaeological contractor that has been employed by Total since the development started. The archaeological monitoring began back in January, with geophysical survey and coring which was carried out by the ORCA team in terrible weather. Since construction started the archaeologists have been observing the work as the earth moving machines strip the peat from the site in case there is any archaeology below the peat.

Rick Barton, who has been involved with the project all year, was watching the machines dig when a group of stones appeared under more than a metre of peat. “At first it was impossible to tell if it was really archaeology or not,” he said. “But I’m so pleased that it was.” After some further investigation, it became clear that the site was indeed real, at which point some additional archaeologists were brought in both from Shetland and Orkney....

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