Shifting sands uncover 4000-year-old Bronze Age settlement
Archaeologists from the University of the Highlands and Islands made the surprising find on Sanday.
Shifting sand dunes have uncovered a major Bronze Age settlement in Orkney.
Archaeologists from the University of the Highlands and Islands made the surprising find on Sanday, a small island north of the Orkney mainland.
Christopher Gee was walking to Tresness with three colleagues when he spotted what appeared to be a stone cairn poking out of the sand on Monday.
Closer inspection revealed stone walls belonging to 14 houses, which experts believe could be one of the largest Bronze Age settlements ever found in Scotland.
However, they said the 4000-year-old complex is under threat from coastal erosion and warned that it is "only a matter of time before" it is destroyed.
Cath Parker, leader of the Sanday Archaeology Group, added: "This is incredibly exciting. The archaeological landscape concealed beneath Sanday's shifting sands never ceases to amaze us.
"I'm sure the local community will relish the opportunity to be involved with any work which stems from this thrilling discovery. more than 4000 years old."