I’m standing next to a 5000 year old house looking at a bead from a 5000 year old necklace. It was made from a cow’s tooth by someone who lived on this spot in the neolithic age. Someone who wore animal skins, who farmed barley and kept cattle. Someone who worked bone and antler and whalebone to make pins and tools and jewellery. Someone who used decorative pots and cooked on a fire. Someone with friends and family.
The Links of Noltland is a perfect example of rescue archaeology. As I stand looking at the dig I can see the newly uncovered soil of the neolithic being blown away by the wind as the dunes erode and the sea encroaches. Kept safe for thousands of years by being trapped between boulder clay below and sand above, the remains of buildings are perfect with all their context still preserved. Flint, bones and pottery are scattered in the ground fresh as the day they were covered.
In five years it will all have blown away.