Police were called when the skeleton was exposed by rain-caused erosion of a cliff near Channerwick, but it was quickly determined this was an ancient find not requiring a homicide investigation, NBC News reported Wednesday.
The ancient skeleton appeared to be contemporary with the remains of Iron Age structures revealed by the same storm nearby, local archaeologist Chris Dyer said, but before any detailed examination could be made another storm caused more landslides that buried both the skeleton and the structures.
"The original burial now lies under several tons of fallen bank, and the Iron Age structures have also disappeared from view," Dyer said in a statement from the Shetland Amenity Trust.
Although further archaeological work has not been planned for the site, officials said a small piece of bone was recovered and would undergo analysis using radiocarbon dating to confirm the skeleton's age.
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