Human bones found by workmen on Highland estate could date back to Iron Age
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A human skull and other bones have been unearthed by workmen on a Highland estate.
Police investigated the find on the 18,000-acre Eriboll Estate.
But the partial skeleton is believed to date back 2500 years to the Iron Age.
Polish dry stone dykers came across the bones under a large boulder earlier this year while working on a major project to restore the estate's stone walls.
Detectives from Thurso in Caithness investigated and sent the find away for analysis.
They have now told the estate's owner, Anders Holch Povlsen's company Wildland Ltd, that the bones date back to the Iron Age.
Andrew Adamson, estate manager for Wildland Ltd, said the dykers were not shocked at the find as they had worked on world heritage sites around Europe and Russia.
The skeleton was found on a hill above Kempie Bay.
"The skull and bones were placed under a large boulder at the bottom of scree. It was obvious from the start they were pretty old," he said.
"The stone dykers were pretty realistic about the find. They just said they had found a pile of bones. They were probably placed there all those thousands of years ago.
"There is quite a lot of archaeology in the area – a quern stone (a stone tool for hand-grinding a wide variety of materials) believed to be from the same period has also been found."
It is hoped that a team of professional archaeologists will now explore the area's ancient history, an investigation triggered by the finds.