ONE of the biggest complexes of Bronze Age settlements in the Scottish isles has been revealed by shifting sands on a beach in Orkney.

Archaeologists discovered the remains of 14 houses and stone tools, including knives, which could be more than 4,000 years old, at Tresness in Sanday while on a walk in poor weather on Monday. They believe the houses were buried by sand dunes in the second millennium BC but have recently been exposed by the actions of weather and the sea.

Professor Jane Downes and Christopher Gee of the University of the Highlands and Islands, Professor Colin Richards of the University of Manchester and Dr Vicki Cummings, of University of Central Lancashire, made the discovery.